Nigerian Teacher Bags 2023 Cambridge Dedicated Teacher Award
At an awards ceremony at his small rural school attended by his whole village, Cambridge University Press named local hero, Akeem Badru, overall winner of the 2023 Cambridge Dedicated Teacher Awards – a global competition that celebrates the efforts of teachers around the world.
The selfless and inspirational teacher, who earned almost 60 percent of the public vote, is the first overall winner of the global competition from the African continent in the five years of the Cambridge Dedicated Teachers Awards.
Badru teaches at St Michael RCM Primary School, a one-room school without electricity in Ogunpa Lunloye, Abeokuta, Ogun State. He earned the global vote of confidence for his achievement in “First Step Initiatives”, a STEM project that combines craft and model making to promote inquisitiveness, creativity and critical thinking, and for his work as TeachSDG (sustainable development goals) Ambassador. In this role, he financed the construction of a borehole for the village to solve the problem of water-related diseases that keep his pupils out of school.
This year, the competition received over 11,000 nominations from 99 countries, a 30% increase on the 2022 competition. This included 1,282 nominations from Sub-Saharan Africa, more nominations from Africa than in any other year.
“I thank Cambridge University Press for this award and for their support of the teaching profession. I believe this recognition of a teacher at a small school in rural Nigeria will encourage other teachers in Nigeria and across the continent to dedicate themselves to their calling: building the skills that will help our children unlock their potential,” Akeem Badru said.
Rob Laing, Managing Director for Sub-Saharan Africa at Cambridge University Press said: “Congratulations to this year’s inspirational winner, Akeem Badru, whose important STEM project and ambassador role is helping to build brighter futures for young people in his community.
“The major growth in nominations worldwide and from Sub-Saharan Africa clearly demonstrates the value communities place on dedicated teachers, making Akeem Badru’s recognition first as regional winner for Central and Southern Africa – and now global winner – all the more significant.”
Badru receives the winner’s trophy and continuing professional development opportunities for him and his school in recognition of his award. This complements the £500 worth of books, along with a Cambridge Dedicated Teacher Awards trophy and promotion for him and his school he earned as regional winner for Central and Southern Africa. He will also feature on a thank you page at the front of new Cambridge University Press Education textbooks from February 2024, serving as an inspiration to all teachers.
Run by Cambridge University Press, the Cambridge Dedicated Teacher Awards gives students, parents and other teachers the chance to nominate a current primary or secondary teacher for something wonderful they have done. Now in its fifth year, the awards demonstrate the inspiring and positive impact of teachers across the globe.