Peace Sule and Stephanie Akinwoya, two Lagos public school teachers have been named among the top 50 finalists for the 2023 Global Teacher Prize.
Both female teachers qualified from among over 7,000 teachers, who were nominated and applied for the award from 130 countries across the world.
Sule, teaches Information and Communication Technology at Akoka Junior High School, Yaba, while Akinwoya is a Physics teacher at Iju Senior Grammar School, Obawole under the Education District 1.
The Varkey Foundation, organiser of the competition announced their emergence on Wednesday, September 27, 2023 through its website.
Besides, the foundation revealed that the 50 finalists are from Europe with 12, Asia with six, Africa with nine, South America has seven, North America has eight and Australia has two respectively.
The foundation further clarified that all the nominees, who will now be branded just like the previous finalists, as Global Teacher Ambassadors, were chosen because they advocate for inclusivity and for child rights, and also integrate migrants into classrooms, and nurture their students’ abilities and confidence.
According to the organisers, this year’s global teacher prize competition has a star prize of $1 million (over N1 billion) for the overall winner, and it is free and open to all teachers across the world.
The overall winner will be announced later in the year from 10 finalists, who would emerge from these 50.
Remarkably, only six teachers from Nigeria, Olasunkanmi Opeifa, Samuel Itodo, Ayodele Odeogbola, Soji Megbowon, Adeola Adefemi and Olusegun Adeniyi have so have been named among the 50 finalists of the competition since it was inception in 2014.
And it is only Olasunkanmi Opeifa, an English language teacher at Government Day Secondary School, Karu, Abuja, who was able to reach the last stage of 10 finalists in 2020.
Others such as Samuel Itodo and Ayodele Odeogbola (2018), Soji Megbowon(2019), Adeola Adefemi and Olusegun Adeniyi (2021) failed to go beyond the 50 finalists.
Varkey Foundation, a non-governmental organisation, and with headquarters in the United Kingdom, instituted the award in collaboration with UNESCO, to identify and celebrate exceptional teacher, who has made outstanding contributions to the teaching profession each year irrespective of subject area.