Nigerian Makes Top Ten Finalist Mark in 2020 Global Teacher Prize

Olasunkanmi Opeifa, a Nigerian has emerged as one of the top ten finalist for the Global Peace Prize award. Olasunkanmi is an English teacher at the Government Day School, Kaura, Abuja. The Global Teacher Prize is an annual US million-dollar award organized by the Varkey Foundation to a teacher who has made an outstanding impact in the profession. The award is designed to appreciate particular teachers for their outstanding role in the academic performance of their various students. According to the head of the Varkey Foundation, the idea is ‘to promote teachers as stars and to support the quality of education to highlight the enormous impact of teachers have on our lives.’ Nominations of teachers for the Global Teacher Prize is open to all teachers in world who meets specific criteria.

Concerning Olasunkami’s nomination, popular comic genius and quiz show host, Stephen Fry, made the announcement in a video. He stated that Olasunkami has inspired his students ‘by using edutainment, that is, fun-based learning to teach English language concepts with essay writing linked to popular dance steps; phonology and grammar demonstrated by rapping and hip-hop songs.’  

Stephen Fry also mentioned that the sole Nigerian finalist published a book on learning English in order to reach more student beyond his community. He went on to say that Olasunkami Opeifa introduced free weekend tutorials in order to cover the student syllabus with them. As such, examination results have vastly improved and many of his (Olasunkanmi’s) students now meet the benchmark for university education. It is on this note that he is tipped to win the whopping sum of 343 million naira for the Global Peace Prize.

Olasunkanmi Opeifa won the Maltina Best Teacher in Nigeria Prize in 2018. The Prize, sponsored by Nigeria Breweries also rewarded Olalekan Adeeko, a computer studies teacher, and Samuel Popoola, a Physics teacher.

Olasunkanmi’s achievement forms part of those efforts to correct narratives, especially those held by people in international domains that Nigeria is a country filled only with inept, corrupt and fraudulent people. With this nomination, the teacher has placed Nigeria on the world map again this time for a good cause and when he eventually wins, his victory will help replace the bad labels that have come to be associated with the Nigerian people. Congratulations in advance Olasunkanmi.

Nelson Okoh

Photo Credit: Global Teacher Prize

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