Cape Town school shortlisted for prestigious prize

The independent non-profit school Christel House, situated in Ottery, Cape Town, is one of the top 10 shortlisted schools for the prestigious World’s Best School Prize.

About the school

The school is on the shortlist in the ‘Overcoming Adversity’ category.

Christel DeHaan, a German American businesswoman and philanthropist, founded the school, which offers Grades R to 12 and serves learners from disadvantaged communities.

In addition to providing learners a school education, the school also offers a character development programme. Included in the programme are healthcare, nutritious meals, guidance counselling, family assistance, and college and career support.

Christel House’s mission is to help children break the cycle of poverty. Also, to realise their hopes and dreams, and become self-sufficient members of society. Most of the learners at the school face gang violence, drugs, alcoholism, hunger, and abuse on a daily basis.

Western Cape MEC congratulates the shortlisted school

Western Cape MEC for Education, David Maynier, congratulated Christel House for its achievement.

“The school is doing excellent work supporting learners from poor communities to receive a world-class education, and it is fitting that they have been selected as a finalist in the ‘Overcoming Adversity’ category. We wish them all the best in the next phase of the competition, and we are holding thumbs for the announcement of the top three in September.”

David Maynier, Western Cape MEC for Education

The World’s Best School Prizes

The World’s Best School Prizes are the world’s most prestigious education awards. The aim of the prizes is to celebrate and reward schools that make a significant difference. Winning schools get a share of the $50 000 (R921 591) award. Additionally, the schools get a global platform to inspire other schools to follow in their footsteps.

There are five World’s Best School Prizes, namely for Community Collaboration, Environmental Action, Innovation, Overcoming Adversity, and Supporting Healthy Lives.

Vikas Pota, founder of the World’s Best School Prizes, said that ‘unless we solve the urgent challenges global education faces, we will have failed the next generation’.

This year’s list features Afghanistan’s only school helping learners with various disabilities and a school in Poland set up for Ukrainian refugees. Also shortlisted, is a school from Italy tackling bullying and a London school confronting knife crime.

A judging academy will select the winners from the shortlisted schools in each category based on strict criteria. The academy includes distinguished leaders from around the world, such as academics, educators, and non-government organisations (NGOs).

Previously shortlisted SA schools

In 2022, Pinelands-North Primary School was shortlisted in the top three in the category ‘Overcoming Adversity’. The West End Primary School featured in the top 10 in the same category.

Last year, the Rustenburg Girls High School was shortlisted in the top 10 in the category for ‘Supporting Healthy Lives’.

The top three finalists for each of the five World’s Best School Prizes will be announced later this year.

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