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Queen Sonja hands out the Queen Sonja School Award 2019

sonja norway
Queen Sonja with the children at the school. Photo: Sara Svanemyr / The Royal Court.

Her Majesty Queen Sonja of Norway handed out “The Queen Sonja School Award” for 2019 on Monday. This year’s prize went to Stigeråsen school in the southern city of Skien. The Queen was welcomed by Principal Kim Aas, School Inspector Dorthe Naur and Student Council Leaders Jørgen Bjerkøen and Maram Alayoubi. Minister of Education Jan Tore Sanner was also present at the arrival of Her Majesty.

Before the award was handed out, the Queen was given an extensive tour of the school. Together with the principal and representatives from the student council, she got to see, among other things, the school’s library and activity room where the students get to try on the redesign of clothes and bicycles.

Her Majesty arrives at the school. Photo: Sara Svanemyr / The Royal Court.

The actual award ceremony took place in the gym at the school. Minister of Education Jan Tore Sanner and Judge Inga Bostad spoke, and the students entertained the Queen with musical elements. The Queen handed out the prize and the visit ended with lunch in the staff room.

It was a unanimous jury that selected out Stigeråsen school in Skien municipality as the winner of Queen Sonja’s school prize for equality and inclusion for 2019. Stigeråsen school is located in Gulset district in Skien municipality. The school is a primary school with 300 students from many different nationalities.

This year, 14 schools were nominated for Queen Sonja’s School Award. The jury has emphasised Stigerås’s long-term and holistic work to create an inclusive and good school for all, and the school’s broad perspective on its role in the local community.

The prize consists of NOK 250,000, a diploma and a piece of art entitled ‘Growth’ that the Queen has created and signed. Queen Sonja’s School Award has been awarded annually since 2006. Schools are nominated by Norway’s 19 county governors.

Criteria for receiving the award is that the school takes a long-term, systematic and knowledge-based approach in its efforts to ensure an optimum learning environment for its pupils. The school should also promote inclusion and equality and the school is characterised by the positive relationship between the pupils and the teaching staff.

About author

Senior Europe Correspondent Oskar Aanmoen has a master in military and political history of the Nordic countries. He has written five books on historical subjects and more than 700 articles for Royal Central. He has also interview both Serbian and Norwegian royals. Aanmoen is based in Oslo, Norway.