Kuantan’s SK Kempadang among World’s Best School finalists

PETALING JAYA: A primary school in Kuantan has made into the top three finalists for the new US$250,000 (RM1,141,875) World’s Best School Prizes.

SK Kempadang, an outstanding Malaysian Trust School, created a fully automated tracking system that follows students’ progress known as Smartzoom, is a top three finalist for the World’s Best School Prize for Innovation.

The majority of the student population of the school come from the bottom 40% of household incomes in Malaysia.

Despite the vulnerability of its students, the school has invoked a strong faith in its ability to educate those who walk through its doors.

Since it became a Trust School in 2015, its enrolment rate has increased by 6% to 7% yearly.

The Trust Schools Programme (TSP) is a whole school transformation led by LeapEd, together with Yayasan AMIR and the Education Ministry, and supported by Yayasan Hasanah.

If the school wins the World’s Best School Prize for innovation, it would use the funds to improve and expand the capacity of Smartzoom and share it with other schools around the country.

The money would also be invested in supporting the co-curriculum activities of the school such as helping students to continue participating in the national robotics competition.

Yayasan Hasanah founding trustee and managing director Shahira Ahmed Bazari congratulated the school for being named a finalist.

“Educators everywhere will take great inspiration from this outstanding Malaysian Trust school.

“It is continuing proof that our public schools are capable of being among the best in the world,” she said in a press release Thursday (Sept 22).

LeapEd Services executive director Nina Adlan Disney, who designed and implemented SK Kempadang’s Trust Schools programme, said the school’s success is a testament to what whole school transformations can achieve.

“We are very proud of SK Kempadang and we hope that they stand out as a role model of the collective effort of every stakeholder – government, state and district, collaborating with school leaders, teachers, students and parents, as well as the community,” she said.

T4 Education and the World’s Best School Prizes founder VIkas Pota said: “As the world looks to rebuild from the devastation of the Covid-19 pandemic, far too many children will continue to be left behind unless we see urgent action for 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,” he added.

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-19.

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.

The top three 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 Oct 2 to tell judges who they think should win each prize at worldsbestschool.org/.

The winners will be announced on Oct 19 at the 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 (RM227,625).

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.


Education, Kuantan, finalist, SK Kempadang, World’s Best School Prizes, Malaysian, Trust School, Smartzoom, Innovation

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