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Nigerian teacher emerges regional winner of Cambridge University Press Dedicated Teacher Awards

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The International Education group at Cambridge University Press & Assessment (Cambridge) has announced Odufeso Tajudeen, a teacher from Isara Secondary School in Isara Remo, Ogun State, as the regional winner of the 2024 Cambridge Dedicated Teacher Awards.

The Cambridge Dedicated Teacher Awards is a global competition that celebrates the achievements of teachers around the world. Now in its sixth year, the competition highlights the important role that teachers play in shaping the lives of their learners and preparing them for the world.

It gives students, parents, and peers the chance to nominate a current primary or secondary teacher for their outstanding commitment to their students’ education.

As a regional winner, Odufeso will receive £500 worth of books for his class, a trophy, and participate in a regional awards ceremony. He will also receive publicity for himself and his school during the coming year, and he will appear on a ‘thank you’ page at the front of new Cambridge textbooks.

Odufeso has been named the regional winner in Sub-Saharan Africa for his dedication to equity and inclusivity, and his advocacy for sustainable education and empowerment. The judges praised Odufeso for his student-centred teaching methods that allow students to effectively collaborate and improve their critical thinking skills. Odufeso was also applauded for the online learning classes he ran for students in vulnerable communities during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Expressing his gratitude for the recognition and publicity received, Odufeso said, “I am deeply honoured to receive the Cambridge Dedicated Teacher Award for our region.

“This recognition not only highlights my personal commitment but is also a testament to the resilience, enthusiasm, and relentless pursuit of excellence by my students. It reaffirms our collective belief that education is a transformative tool, empowering us to make meaningful changes in our community and beyond.

“I am grateful for this award, and it inspires me to continue advocating for innovative and inclusive educational practices. I appreciate everyone that supported me on this journey”.

2024 saw a record number of nominations from people wanting to thank a teacher. Cambridge received 14,840 nominations across 141 different countries, topping the previous record by over 1,000 nominations.

Rod Smith, Managing Director of International Education said, “We need 44 million teachers worldwide by 2030 if the world is to meet the UNESCO Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 of inclusive and equitable quality education. For this to happen, at Cambridge we believe we should be celebrating the profession and highlighting the hard-working teachers currently instilling a love of learning, often in difficult environments.

“We launched the Cambridge Dedicated Teacher Awards to ensure we took the time to thank those preparing their students to be ready for the world, whether tackling challenging educational issues like climate change or breaking down cultural barriers. I wish to congratulate Odufeso Tajudeen for his immense accomplishments, which I’m sure will inspire teachers and learners across Nigeria”.

The public can now vote on their favourite teacher out of the nine regional winners, to become the overall winner of Cambridge Dedicated Teacher Awards 2024. The deadline to vote is 6 May 2024 and the Global Winner will be announced on 29 May 2024.

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