Two M'sian schools shortlisted for World's Best School Prizes 2023

PETALING JAYA: Two Malaysian primary schools have been shortlisted for two categories in the World's Best School Prizes 2023.

Sekolah Kebangsaan Seri Permai, Bayan Baru, Penang, has been named in the top 10 shortlist for the World's Best School Prize for the Innovation category.

The students had come up with an ingenious way to lighten the heavy school bags students have to lug around daily.

They invented the Smart and Easy desk (SnET) 2.0 by adding lockable compartments to school desks, which led to bag weights dropping from 10kg to a mere 2.5kg.

Sekolah Kebangsaan Kanchong Darat, Banting, Selangor, is in the Top 10 shortlist for the World's Best School Prize for the Supporting Healthy Lives programme.

To address the decrease in pupil attendance post-pandemic, the rural school put together a "Great Mind, Healthy Citizens" programme that encouraged pupil attendance while improving physical and emotional health.

The school organised fun jump rope competitions during recess time, which attracted pupils back to school.

Their approach to pupil well-being increased attendance with improvements in tracked pupil health data, ensuring pupils achieve their potential in the classroom.

The two schools stand to win part of the US$250,000 (RM1.16mil) prize, to be equally shared among winners of the five prizes, with each receiving US$50,000 (RM231,300).

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

Yayasan Hasanah founding trustee and managing director Datuk Shahira Ahmed Bazari congratulated the schools.

"In a world where more young people yearn for purpose and aspire to create positive change, these schools stand as beacons of inspiration.

"This recognition not only showcases the exceptional calibre of Malaysia's schools but also signifies a significant stride towards a progressive society, where educators and young people play a pivotal role in shaping our shared future," she said in a press release on Thursday (June 15).

T4 Education and the World's Best School Prizes founder Vikas Pota 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 Sekolah Kebangsaan Seri Permai and Sekolah Kebangsaan Kanchong Darat 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 these trailblazing Malaysian institutions and the culture they have cultivated."

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 established 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 prize will be announced in September with the winners in October.

The winner of each prize will be chosen based on rigorous criteria by a judges comprising academics, educators, non-governmental organisations, social entrepreneurs, government, civil society and the private sector from around the world.

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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