South African Schools Named In Top Ten World’s Best Institutions

Two South African Schools have been named in the Top 10 shortlist for World’s Institution.

Rondebosch-based Rustenburg Girls’ High and Johannesburg-based Spark Soweto Kindergarten and Primary have earned places in the 2023 Top 10 shortlists for the World’s Best School Prize.

On Thursday, T4 Education, in partnership with Templeton World Charity Foundation, Accenture, and American Express, revealed their 2023 top contenders under five categories:

Community Collaboration
Environmental Action
Overcoming Adversity
Supporting Healthy Lives
Rustenburg Girls and Spark Soweto schools
Rustenburg Girls, a government-funded institution, has been shortlisted in the “Supporting Healthy Lives” category, while Spark Soweto, an independent, partially government-funded facility, has been shortlisted in the “Community Collaboration” category.

The winners are expected to be announced in September, and each learning institution from the five categories will get an equal share of the $250 000 (about R4.6 million) grand prize.

Rustenburg Girls’ High was recognized for embracing “the vital role that physical and mental fitness play in a well-rounded education and has taken proactive steps to ensure its students’ holistic growth and success”.

“I am extremely proud of Rustenburg Girls’ High’s achievement. It is no secret they are one of our province’s top-performing high schools academically, and perhaps one of the secrets to their success is their successful holistic approach to education, balancing academics with sport and other activities,” gushed Western Cape Education MEC David Maynier.

Rustenburg Girls will go up against:

Pakistan’s Beaconhouse Gulshan Campus
UK Great Britain and Northern Ireland’s Cardiff Sixth Form College
USA’s Chester Arthur School
Brazil’s EEMTI Joaquim Bastos Gonçalves
Uruguay’s Escuela N°67 de Pueblo Olivera
USA’s IMG Academy
India’s Shindewadi Mumbai Public School (Akanksha Foundation)
Malaysia’s Sekolah Kebangsaan Kanchong Darat
Spark Soweto, according to T4, “has become a catalyst for change for its disadvantaged community that was once symbolic of the struggle against apartheid“.

The other contenders in the community collaboration category are:

UK Great Britain and Northern Ireland’s ACS International School Cobham
UK Great Britain and Northern Ireland’s Barham Primary School
Liberia’s Booker Washington Institute
Brazil’s Escola Municipal Professor Edson Pisani
Philippines Kongkong Elementary School
India’s Nagar Nigam Pratibha Baalika Vidhyalaya F- Block, Dilshad Colony-1st
Republic of Korea’s NLCS Jeju
India’s Oberoi International School
Competition winners get $50 000
Those shortlisted will now go through a rigorous judging process to stand a chance of winning $50 000 (approximately R918 000 each) in their respective categories.

“I must congratulate Spark Soweto and Rustenburg Girls’ High 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 South African institutions and the culture they have cultivated,” said T4 Education and World’s Best School Prizes founder Vikas Pota.

The shortlisting comes at a time South African schools’ basic literacy and numeracy skills are declining at alarming rates.

The published 2021 results of the Progress in International Reading and Literacy Study (PIRLS) found that 81% of South Africa’s Grade 4 pupils could not read for meaning.


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