Uganda’s Project Shelter Wakadogo Wins Inaugural World’s Best School Prize

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Project Shelter Wakadogo in Uganda, which was founded in the wake of war and now educates over 450 children with one of the highest student retention rates in the country, has been named the winner of the inaugural World’s Best School Prize for Overcoming Adversity.

The five Worlds’ Best School Prizes, founded this year by T4 Education in collaboration with Templeton World Charity Foundation, Accenture and American Express, are the world’s most prestigious education prizes and see winning schools share an award of $250,000.

The five World’s Best School Prizes are 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.
Project Shelter Wakadogo was chosen as the winner of the World’s Best School Prize for Overcoming Adversity from among the top 3 finalists for the prize, which also included Pinelands North Primary School in South Africa and Escola Evandro Ferreira Dos Santos in Brazil.
The Prizes were founded by T4 Education in collaboration with Templeton World Charity Foundation, Accenture, American Express, Yayasan Hasanah, and the Lemann Foundation to share the best practices of schools that are transforming the lives of their students and making a real difference in their communities.
Vikas Pota, Founder of T4 Education and the World’s Best School Prizes congratulated Project Shelter Wakadogo for winning the World’s Best School Prize for Overcoming Adversity, saying it is time for world leaders to sit up and listen to institutions like this outstanding Ugandan school.
“Far too many children will continue to be left behind in the wake of COVID unless governments take urgent action to tackle the education crisis. As a first step, they must turn to the knowledge and experience contained within our schools because those at the frontline of education know better than anyone else the change we need to see.
Vikas Pota added, “We founded the World’s Best School Prizes to surface the expertise of trailblazing schools from every corner of the globe so that leaders can learn from their incredible stories.”
Project Shelter Wakadogo in Gulu, Uganda, has flourished from a school with only two classrooms founded in the wake of war to now educating over 450 children with one of the highest student retention rates in the country.

Project Shelter Wakadogo will use the prize funds to offer more scholarships for marginalised and underprivileged children in the community. It will also use the funds to set up an online learning platform to facilitate hybrid and catch-up learning, in the case schools should ever close again, and share its approach and technology where possible with schools in the region. It will also use the funds to continue to provide mid-morning porridge and midday meals to its students as most in the wider community live on one meal a day.

The winners of the five World’s Best School Prizes were chosen by a Judging Academy, comprising distinguished leaders all across the globe, including academics, educators, NGOs, social entrepreneurs, government, civil society, and the private sector, based on a set of rigorous criteria. Judges were informed by a public advisory vote in which nearly 50,000 people from around the world voted for their favourite schools.

Besides, Dunoon Grammar School in the UK won the World’s Best School Prize for Community Collaboration. Escuela Emilia Lascar in Chile won the World’s Best School Prize for Innovation. Bonuan Buquig National High School in the Philippines won the World’s Best School Prize for Environmental Action, while Curie Metropolitan High School in the US won the World’s Best School Prize for Supporting Healthy Lives.

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.

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