Nigerian named finalist for $1m Global Teacher Prize

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A Nigerian teacher, Olasunkanmi Opeifa, has been named a top 10 finalist for the Global Teacher Prize 2020.

Now its sixth year, the US$1 was established by the Varkey partnership the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.

English comedian, Stephen Fry, announced Opeifa as a top ten finalist a special video message, saying, “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, 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 students beyond your community, and introduced free weekend tutorials in order to cover the syllabus them. this approach, examination results have vastly improved and many your students now meet the benchmark for admission to university. Congratulations Olasunkanmi and thank you for everything you do.”

Also, Assistant Director-General for at UNESCO, Stefania Giannini, said, “Congratulations to Olasunkanmi Opeifa for being selected as a top ten finalist from such a huge number talented and dedicated . I hope his story inspire those looking to enter the teaching profession and also highlight the incredible work do all over Nigeria and throughout the world every day.”

Founder the Global Teacher Prize, Sunny Varkey, said, “The Global Teacher Prize was set to shine a spotlight on the important role play in society… everywhere should be applauded for their creativity, compassion and resolve to fulfil every child’s right to a good .”


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 joins UK teacher Jamie Frost, Italian teacher Carlo Mazzone, South African teacher Mokhudu Cynthia Machaba, US teacher Leah Juelke and South Korean teacher Yun Jeong-hyun as a top 10 finalist. The remaining four top 10 finalists be announced one each week in the run- to the Global Teacher Prize ceremony, which be virtual for the very first time in its history due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The virtual ceremony is expected to take place on December 3, 2020 where the overall winner will be announced.