Government Girls Day Secondary School, Sokoto Makes Top 10 For World’s Best School Prizes 2023

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An inspirational Nigerian school, Government Girls Day Secondary School, Runjin Sambo, Sokoto State has been named among the top 10 shortlist for World’s Best School Prize for Overcoming Adversity.

The school stands among the top contenders shortlisted for the coveted prize of $250,000.

The five World’s Best School Prizes was founded last year by T4 Education in collaboration with Accenture, American Express, Yayasan Hasanah, and the Lemann Foundation; the world’s most prestigious education prizes.

Government Girls Day Secondary School, Runjin Sambo, a government school in Sokoto, Nigeria, has transformed the lives of thousands of teenage girls through its Menstrual Hygiene programme and was named in the World’s Best School Prize for overcoming adversity.

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 established 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: “The schools shortlisted for the World’s Best School Prizes, no matter where they can be found or what they teach, all have one thing in common. They all have a strong school culture. Their leaders know how to attract and motivate exceptional educators, inspire change, and build excellent teaching and learning environments.

“I must congratulate Government Girls Day Secondary School on being named in the Top 10 shortlists for the World’s Best School Prizes 2023. Schools across the globe will learn from the story of this trailblazing Nigerian institution and the culture it has cultivated.”

Government Girls Day Secondary School, Runjin Sambo, a government school in Sokoto, Nigeria, has brought about a transformative shift in the lives of thousands of teenage girls through its Menstrual Hygiene programme, breaking down barriers to education and empowering them to reach their full potential.

The school’s unwavering commitment has not only improved the academic performance and health of its students but also produced future nurses and health personnel who are serving the community.

This inspiring initiative is a shining example of how education can be a powerful tool for social change, providing hope and opportunities for girls who were once held back by taboos and stigma.

With a school population of about 4,000 teenage students aged 11 to 18 years old, Government Girls Day Secondary School created a multi-pronged approach to address the crisis in girls’ access to quality education, with girls facing stigma, exclusion, discrimination, bullying, and gender-based violence.

This approach involved guidance and counseling services, teacher-led programmes tackling menstrual trauma, physical, and mental effects, as well as referral services in the case of menstrual infections to access medical care, and mentorship to reconnect students to learning.

The school also organised in-school training programmes, clubs and societies, and peer-to-peer student forums, which created a supportive social environment with no restrictions in accessing menstrual hygiene management information.

The peer-to-peer programme also encouraged communication towards ending taboos and stigma, sharing problems and experiences among students relating to menstruation.

Through these programmes and activities, the school was able to impact about 4,000 girls with basic menstrual hygiene skills and knowledge. The school also produced many nurses and

health personnel who are now serving the community, contributing to other sustainable areas such as introducing students to WASH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene) and reproductive health.

The Top 3 finalists for each of the five World’s Best School Prizes will be announced in September 2023 followed by the winners in October. The winner of each Prize will be chosen based on rigorous criteria by a Judging Academy comprising distinguished leaders across the globe including academics, educators, NGOs, social entrepreneurs, government, civil society, and the private sector.

A prize of US$250,000 will be equally shared among the winners of the five Prizes, with each receiving an award of US$50,000.

All 50 shortlisted schools will be invited to share their best practices through events on the T4 Communities app or 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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