Cape Town – Loud, exuberant cheers erupted at Pinelands North Primary School after it was announced that the school had made it into the top 3 chosen for the World’s Best School Prize in the Overcoming Adversity category.
Beaming parents joined hundreds of learners during a special assembly at which the principal proudly announced the news.
There was dance, delight and applause just before the virtual announcement by Premier Alan Winde and Education MEC David Maynier.
Pinelands North Primary School Principal Elizabeth Ann Morton said: “There were five categories and we actually decided as a school that we were worthy of entering all five categories but I knew that overcoming adversity was definitely the one we’re going to win because that’s what we do every single day.”
In June 2022, T4 Education in partnership with Templeton World Charity Foundation, Accenture and American Express, announced their top 10 shortlists for the World’s Best School Prize, with two schools in the Western Cape,
Pinelands North Primary School and West End Primary School, nominated in the Top Ten shortlist for the category: Overcoming Adversity.
The Pinelands-based school was now the only school in South Africa to have made it this far in the competition.
With the total prize money of $250 000 (about R4.4 million), each winning school will be awarded $50 000 (about R881 000) to further enhance its work.
Morton said they would like to make the school 100 children bigger through its online schooling, which already has nine learners. The prize money would be spent on staffing and a room for the hybrid learning system.
Morton urged the country to support the school by voting for it during the 10-day public advisory vote which opened on Thursday.
Winde said: “I am elated that two of our schools made the shortlist, and even more thrilled that Pinelands North Primary School made it to the top 3. Pinelands North is blazing a trail in delivering quality, inclusivity and that feeling of hope we all aspire to.”
Maynier said: “The school’s inclusive environment and recognition of its learners’ unique needs and potential caught the attention of the T4 Education judges. They’ve competed against schools in countries around the world and have made it to the very last stage.”
Maynier also congratulated West End Primary School in Lentegeur for making the top 10 in the same category.
“While they are not in the top 3, we recognise them as a school that is truly showing what it means to reach out to their community. We can all learn from the example West End is setting,” he said.
The public has until October 2 to vote via worldsbestschool.org/ and winners will be announced on October 19 at World Education Week.