Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum (right), Minister of Education, in a handshake with Eric Asomani Asante, the 2020 National Best Teacher. With them is Dr Christian Addai-Poku (slightly covered), Registrar, National Teaching Council
Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum (right), Minister of Education, in a handshake with Eric Asomani Asante, the 2020 National Best Teacher. With them is Dr Christian Addai-Poku (slightly covered), Registrar, National Teaching Council

2020 National Best Teacher shortlisted for Global Teacher Prize

The 2020 National Best Teacher, Eric Asomani Asante, is one of 10 shortlisted finalists for this year’s Global Teacher Prize Award.

Mr Asante is one of the two nominees picked from Africa to compete for this year’s Global Teacher Prize event slated for Paris, France, on November 8.

The Information and Communications Technology (ICT) teacher at the Naylor SDA Basic School in Tema Community 6 was selected from over 7,000 nominations and applications from 130 countries.

His selection brings to two the number of Ghanaians to have been shortlisted among the top 10 persons for the Global Teacher Prize.

The first was Evans Odei, a teacher of Mathematics at the Achimota School, in 2021. 

Global Teacher Prize

The Global Teacher Prize was set up to recognise 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.

In its ninth year, the $1 million award is the largest in the world and is organised by the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize in partnership with UNESCO.

This year’s ceremony will take place at the 42nd session of UNESCO’s General Conference scheduled for November 7 to 23, in Paris, France.

The other contestants for the Global Teacher Prize are: Geisha Bonilla, Chile; Artur Proidakov, Ukraine; Mellisa Tracy, USA; Sister Zeph, Pakistan; Annie Ohana, Canada; Shafina Vohra, UK; Mariette Wheeler, South Africa; Nicolas Gaube, France and Deep Narayan Nayak, India. 

Giving back

During a courtesy call on the Minister of Education, Mr Asante was highly optimistic of winning the ultimate prize.

He said since he was adjudged the National Best Teacher, he had not gone to sleep, but had begun undertaking various educational initiatives and projects as part of his contribution to improve the sector.

He said, for instance, he used part of the prize money to build a science and ICT laboratory in his alma mater, distributed over 4,000 ICT and Science textbooks to deprived schools across the country, 100 desktop computers and 50 laptops to some underprivileged schools, as well as the construction of a school in the Gbetsile community.

Mr Asante noted that he had also helped to train teachers across the country, adding that “by God’s grace we have been able to do something.

 I believe it is with all these that enabled me to reach where I am at the moment”.

“I believe that it would go beyond that on November 8, 2023 and Ghanaians would hear good news,” he said, adding that “I have never gone to an award with so much confidence and there is every indication that the overall top prize would come to Ghana”.

Ghanaian teachers

Dr Adutwum congratulated the teacher and said he had not only made Ghana proud but had shown that Ghanaian teachers were doing well in terms of education delivery.

The Education Minister told the media that if globally one of the top 10 teachers was from Ghana, then it was clear that the country’s educational system and the passion with which Ghanaian teachers taught were well appreciated across the world.

“We would, first of all, like to thank our brother for the honour he has brought to the country.

“Ghanaian teachers are doing so well and they should continue working hard for the country,” he said.

The Registrar of the National Teaching Council, Dr Christian Addai-Poku, said since 2018, a lot of teacher reforms had been put in place for the improvement of teachers in the country.

The reforms, he believed, among other measures, had helped teachers to keep records of their work, one of the requirements of the Global Teacher Prize.

He said on the continent, Ghana had won four times out of a total of five teacher prize events that had been held.

Other Ghanaians

Since its inception, a total of four Ghanaians have competed for the Global Teacher Prize.

The late Prof. Sitsofe Enyonam Anku, founder and executive director of the Meagasa Mathematics Academy, was the first Ghanaian teacher to compete for the prize in 2018, with Robert Gbari Gariba, a Special Education Teacher at the Richard Akwei Memorial School and the 2018 Best Primary School Teacher, also being nominated in 2019.

Both of them only got to the top 50.

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