The Principal of Ghana International School (GIS), Dr Mary Ashun, has been named among the Top 10 finalists for the prestigious Africa Education Medal 2023.
Founded last year by T4 Education and HP, in collaboration with Microsoft, the Africa Education Medal is Africa’s most prestigious education accolade.
The Africa Education Medal recognises the work of persons who are transforming education across the continent, and to celebrate the stories of those who have lit the spark of change to inspire others.
It is given to an outstanding individual who has demonstrated impact, leadership, and advocacy in the field of education.
Ghana’s Dr Ashun has championed projects through the GIS, including support for students from under-equipped schools, teacher training and resource capacity building in remote villages, collaborative international educator visits, as well as fostering student efforts to be innovative in the Arts and Sciences.
Dr Ashun advocates for all children, especially the marginalised in education.
In March 2021, she learned about a young man who gained admission to a prestigious public boarding school in Ghana, but who was denied entry because he had dreadlocks.
Dr Ashun wrote an opinion titled “The Issue of the Other When it Comes to Admissions” that was published.
While the issue generated public debate and even ended up in court, a group of GIS parents worked with Dr Ashun, and a scholarship was arranged for the student, who was admitted at the GIS.
Prior to joining GIS, Dr Ashun was a school principal in Canada, taught Sciences and Mathematics, and lectured at Redeemer University in Ontario, Canada, in the Faculty of Education, teaching and supervising pre-service and in-service teachers.
The other Top 10 finalists include Laura Kakon, the Chief Growth and Strategy Officer of Honoris United Universities, Morocco; Rogers Kamugisha, the Country Director of Educate!, Rwanda; Grace Matlhape, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SmartStart, South Africa; and Mary Metcalfe, the former policymaker and CEO of Programme to Improve Learning Outcomes (PILO), South Africa.
The rest are Martha Muhwezi, the Executive Director of FAWE, Uganda; Jean-Claude Nkulikiyimfura, the Executive Director of Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village, Rwanda; Simi Nwogugu, the CEO of JA Africa, Nigeria; Sara Ruto, the former Chief Administrative Secretary of Kenya’s Ministry of Education and former CEO of PAL Network, Kenya; and Snehar Shah, CEO of Moringa School, Kenya.