Government Girls Day Secondary School (GGDSS), Runjin Sambo in Sokoto State, has been named as one of the top 10 finalists for the $250,000 World’s Best School Prizes in recognition of its effort in overcoming adversity.
The school was shortlisted to contest for the five World’s Best School Prizes, founded in 2022 by T4 Education for the role it played in transforming the lives of thousands of teenage girls through its Menstrual Hygiene programme.
The five World’s Best School Prizes were established to share the best practices of schools that are transforming the lives of their students in categories such as community collaboration, environmental action, innovation, overcoming adversity, and supporting healthy lives.
Vikas Pota, founder of T4 Education and the World’s Best School Prizes, said the award celebrates schools for the pivotal role they play in developing the next generation of learners and for their enormous contribution to society’s progress, especially in the wake of Covid-19.
According to Pota, the schools shortlisted for the awards have common attributes such as strong school culture, leadership know-how to attract and motivate exceptional educators, inspire change, and excellent teaching and learning environments.
She congratulated the Nigerian school for being named in the top 10 lists for the World’s Best School Prizes 2023.
Pota further said that Government Girls Day Secondary School, Sokoto has brought about a transformative shift in the lives of thousands of teenage girls through its Menstrual Hygiene programme, breaking down barriers to education and empowering them to reach their full potential.
“The school’s unwavering commitment has not only improved the academic performance and health of its students but also produced future nurses and health personnel who are serving the community.
Read also: MTN 2023 quiz: Schools prepare for top-prize
“This inspiring initiative is a shining example of how education can be a powerful tool for social change, providing hope and opportunities for girls who were once held back by taboos and stigma,” Pota said.
She said that schools across the globe will learn from the story of this trailblazing Nigerian institution and the culture it has cultivated.
The Nigerian school was shortlisted for the role it played in creating a multi-pronged approach to address the crisis in girls’ access to quality education, with girls facing stigma, exclusion, discrimination, bullying, and gender-based violence.
This approach involved guidance and counselling services, teacher-led programmes tackling menstrual trauma, physical, and mental effects, as well as referral services in the case of menstrual infections to access medical care, and mentorship to reconnect students to learning.
The school with a population of about 4,000 teenage students aged 11 to 18 years old, also organised in-school training programmes, clubs and societies, and peer-to-peer student forums, which created a supportive social environment with no restrictions in accessing menstrual hygiene management information.
The peer-to-peer programme also encouraged communication towards ending taboos and stigma, sharing problems and experiences among students relating to menstruation.
Through these programmes and activities, the school was able to impact about 4,000 girls with basic menstrual hygiene skills and knowledge. It also produced many nurses and health personnel who are now serving the community, contributing to other sustainable areas such as introducing students to Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene as well as reproductive health.
The top three finalists for each of the five World’s Best School Prizes will be announced in September 2023 while winners will emerge in October. The winner of each prize will be chosen based on rigorous criteria by a judging academy comprising distinguished leaders across the globe including academics, educators, NGOs, social entrepreneurs, government, civil society, and the private sector.
A prize of $250,000 will be equally shared among the winners of the five prizes, with each receiving an award of $50,000. All 50 shortlisted schools will be invited to share their best practices through events on the T4 Communities app or School Transformation Toolkits that showcase their ‘secret sauce’ to innovative approaches and step-by-step instructions on how others can replicate their methods to help improve education everywhere.