A Nigerian teacher identified as Olasunkanmi Opeifa, has been named a top 10 finalist for the Global Teacher Prize 2020.
The US$1 million award established by the Varkey Foundation in partnership with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, is in its 6th year.
Announced Opeifa, among others as a top ten finalist, English comedian, Stephen Fry said:
“Today I am delighted to announce that Olasunkanmi Opeifa from Nigeria is a top ten finalist for the Global Teacher Prize 2020.
“Olasunkanmi, you have inspired your students by using edutainment- fun-based learning to teach English language concepts, with essay writing linked to popular dance steps, and phonology and grammar demonstrated by rapping and hip-hop songs.
“You also published a book on learning English in order to reach more students beyond your community, and introduced free weekend tutorials in order to cover the syllabus with them. With this approach, examination results have vastly improved and many of your students now meet the benchmark for admission to university. Congratulations Olasunkanmi and thank you for everything you do.”
Also, Assistant Director-General for Education at UNESCO, Stefania Giannini, said,
“Congratulations to Olasunkanmi Opeifa for being selected as a top ten finalist from such a huge number of talented and dedicated teachers. I hope his story will inspire those looking to enter the teaching profession and also highlight the incredible work teachers do all over Nigeria and throughout the world every day.”
Founder of the Global Teacher Prize, Sunny Varkey, said,
“The Global Teacher Prize was set up to shine a spotlight on the important role teachers play in society…Teachers everywhere should be applauded for their creativity, compassion and resolve to fulfil every child’s right to a good education.”
Opeifa, an English teacher from Government Day Secondary School, Karu, Abuja, Nigeria, was shortlisted for the Global Teacher Prize 2020, after being selected from over 12,000 nominations and applications from over 140 countries around the world.
He was also winner of the Maltina Teacher of the Year in 2018.
Opeifa was rewarded with N1 million in addition to N500, 000 he received as state champion from Abuja. He will also get N1m every year for the next five years and a block of six classrooms built at his school.