Two Nigerian teachers, Ayodele Odeogbola and Itodo Anthony have been named among the top global 50 teachers penciled for the prestigious 2018 Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize slated for Dubai, United Arab Emirate.
In a statement made available to Daily Trust by the Varkey Foundation, the nomination of the two Nigerians was the first of its kind since the annual US$1 million award started four years ago.
The statement noted that Ayodele Odeogbola, a STEM education and global studies teacher at Abeokuta Grammar School, Ogun, and Itodo Anthony, who teaches chemistry, mathematics and physics at Gateway Excel College, Ogeneago Otukpa, Benue State, were shortlisted for the
Global Teacher Prize 2018 having been selected from over 30,000 nominations and applications from 173 countries around the world.
“The Global Teacher Prize was set up to recognize one exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession as well as to shine a spotlight on the important role teachers play in society.
By unearthing thousands of stories of heroes that have transformed young people’s lives, the prize hopes to bring to life the exceptional work of millions of teachers all over the world,” a part of the statement read.
Odeogbola who was quoted as saying that he has “a passion for developing his students to be future leaders and stakeholders in their world”, was also said to be using “collaboration, critical thinking, creativity and communication” to personalize learning opportunities with specially chosen gifted students acting as group leaders and reviewing every school activity.
“He has brought technology industry experts into his classroom, and linked his class using Skype and social media to peers in schools in India and Lebanon. As mentor to other teachers, Youth Service Corps leaders and young African leaders he lead the Beyond School Community Challenge Project – a flagship initiative of Mandela Washington Fellowship Alumni Association of Nigeria involving over 300 schools developing young people to help solve community problems, in line with UN Sustainable Development Goals
“A professional development scheme he created has so far trained over 2,000 teachers with the support of the United States Mission in Nigeria, Microsoft Nigeria and Ogun State Government,” the statement read.
Similarly, Itodo Anthony was quoted as stating that his mission is to elevate the teaching profession to a place of pride.
He was also said to have introduced “positive values from other parts of the world to broaden students’ views of life.”
“He teaches the virtues of justice, institutional soundness, community service, value creation, among others, all elements from other cultures that can help create an ideal value system among Nigerian youth.
In May 2017 he founded a community-based organisation for youth– New Frontiers Youth Forum.
It welcomes membership from 13-35 year olds with the aim of raising young leaders to act as positive change agents within the community. In October the Forum commissioned a
community library as the locale had no library where students and others could study in comfort or have access to affordable resources,” the statement added.
Organisers further disclosed that the winner will be announced at the Global Education and Skills Forum in Dubai on Sunday 18 March 2018.
“Congratulations to Ayodele Odeogbola and Itodo Anthony for reaching the final 50. I hope their stories inspire those looking to enter the teaching profession and shine a spotlight on the incredible work teachers do all over the world every day. We intend to keep this momentum going as our journey continues to return teachers to their rightful position as one of the most respected professions in society.
“We were overwhelmed by the huge support the Global Teacher Prize received this year. The over 30,000 nominations and applications we received from every corner of the planet is testimony to the achievements of teachers and the enormous impact they have on all of our lives,” Sunny Varkey, founder of the Varkey Foundation and the Global Teacher Prize was quoted in the statement.