School in Maharashtra among top 3 finalists of new World's Best School Prizes
In a remote village in the Pune district, the school is run as a public-private partnership between the NGO Akanksha Foundation and the local government, with most of its students coming from low-income families.
A village school in Maharashtra that has created a cultural dynamic based on close community ties was named one of three finalists for the inaugural USD 250,000 World's Best School Prizes, launched in the UK to recognise schools worldwide for their contributions to societal progress.
PCMC English Medium School, Bopkhel, in Pune, has advanced to the public advisory vote round of the Community Collaboration prize, with the winner to be announced during World Education Week next month.
The school is run as a public-private partnership between the NGO Akanksha Foundation and the local government in a remote village in the Pune district, with most of its students coming from low-income families.
According to T4 Education, the UK-based digital media platform that founded the prize earlier this year, PCMC English Medium School, Bopkhel also works with local doctors, grocers, and religious leaders to help create programmes that help parents in financial need.
The school launched a programme of free medical check-ups in the community and Master Chef-style classes that taught families how to eat a healthy and balanced diet. Students are also part of a daily fruit-eating initiative that keeps them on track for healthy eating and have a weekly meal plan. According to the report, following their children, the families and parents have begun to follow the same nutrition plan.
The prizes, founded in collaboration with Accenture, American Express, Yayasan Hasanah, Templeton World Charity Foundation, the Lemann Foundation, D2L, Mellby Grd, and Universidad Camilo Jos Cela, aim to share the best practices of schools that are transforming the lives of their students and making a real difference in their communities.
The five World's Best School Prizes are organised in Community Collaboration, Environmental Action, Innovation, Overcoming Adversity, and Supporting Healthy Lives. The finalists were chosen from thousands of submissions by a global Judging Academy of distinguished leaders.
The example of this outstanding Indian school will inspire teachers all over the world, according to Vikas Pota, founder of T4 Education and the World's Best School Prizes.
The World's Best School Prizes highlight the expertise of inspirational schools from all over the world. It's time for governments worldwide to listen to their voices.
Suppose PCMC English Medium School, Bopkhel, wins the World's Best School Prize for Community Collaboration. In that case, it intends to donate a portion of the prize money to the Akanksha Foundation in recognition of its contribution to the school's management. The funds would also go to other schools that collaborate with the foundation.
The USD 250,000 prize money will be divided equally among the five prize winners, each receiving a USD 50,000 award.
All 50 shortlisted schools will share their best practices during World Education Week events in October and through School Transformation Toolkits.
(With inputs from PTI)