Outstanding Indian school named Top 3 finalist for new $250,000 World’s Best School Prizes

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 An outstanding Indian school has been named a Top 3 finalist for the new $250,000 World’s Best School Prizes, launched this year by T4 Education in collaboration with Accenture and American Express.

PCMC English Medium School, Bopkhel, a school in Pune, India, which has created a cultural dynamic centred on close ties within the community and with parents, is a Top 3 finalist for the World’s Best School Prize for Community Collaboration.

The five World’s Best School Prizes – for Community Collaboration, Environmental Action, Innovation, Overcoming Adversity, and Supporting Healthy Lives – celebrate schools everywhere 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.

The Prizes were founded by T4 Education in collaboration with Accenture, American Express, Yayasan Hasanah, Templeton World Charity Foundation, the Lemann Foundation, D2L, Mellby Gård, and Universidad Camilo José Cela, to share the best practices of schools that are transforming the lives of their students and making a real difference to their communities.

Vikas Pota, Founder of T4 Education and the World’s Best School Prizes, said:

“As the world looks to rebuild from the devastation of the COVID pandemic, far too many children will continue to be left behind unless we see urgent action on education. Leaders must learn from the knowledge and experience contained within our schools because those on the frontlines of education know better than anyone else the change we need to see.

“The World’s Best School Prizes surface the expertise of inspirational schools from every corner of the globe. It’s time for governments everywhere to listen to their voices.

“Congratulations to PCMC English Medium School, Bopkhel for being named a Top 3 finalist for the first ever World’s Best School Prizes. Teachers everywhere will be inspired by the example of this outstanding Indian school.”

About the school:

PCMC English Medium SchoolBopkhel, a school in Pune, India has created a cultural dynamic centred on close ties within the community and with parents as partners in children’s holistic development.

The school resides in a small, remote village and is run as a Public Private Partnership between NGO the Akanksha Foundation and local government. Most of its students come from low-income families and many parents had little education and did not always see education as important for their child when earning a living is the biggest priority.

With the knowledge that parents have a profound impact on children’s ability to learn and absorb information, the school makes home visits to better understand students’ home environments and build strong relationships with their parents, instilling in them the importance of education.

PCMC English Medium School, Bopkhel also works with local doctors, grocers and religious leaders to help create programmes that help parents in financial need. The school launched a programme of free medical check-ups in the community and ‘Master Chef’ style classes were launched that taught families about how to have a healthy and balanced diet.  Students are also part of a daily fruit eating initiative that keeps them on track for healthy eating and every week they have a set meal plan. The impact has trickled into their home lives as parents have started to follow the same nutrition plan.

To work on the emotional needs of its students and their families, social workers and counsellors scheduled meetings with parents, offering therapy for any distress caused by their background or financial status. For some parents, these talks worked to great effect, allowing them to become emotionally stable enough to help support not only their own children, but others as well.  Such schemes helped create a more vibrant and tight knit community in the village, with parents becoming more actively involved in the management of the school and their children’s lives.

If PCMC English Medium School, Bopkhel were to win the World’s Best School Prize for Community Collaboration, it would donate some of the money to the Akanksha Foundation due to their contribution towards the management of the school. The funds would also be distributed towards other schools that work with the Akanksha Foundation.

 

Next steps:

The Top 3 finalists for each of the five World’s Best School Prizes will now be entered into a Public Advisory Vote. Members of the public have until October 2 to tell judges who they think should win each prize at worldsbestschool.org/

The Judging Academy, comprising distinguished leaders all across the globe including academics, educators, NGOs, social entrepreneurs, government, civil society, and the private sector, will be presented with the results of the public advisory vote and will assess the finalists  based on rigorous criteria.

The winners will be announced on October 19 2022 at World Education Week. A prize of US$250,000 will be shared equally among the winners of the five Prizes, with each receiving an award of US$50,000.

All shortlisted schools across the five Prizes will share their best practices during events at World Education Week and through 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.

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