2012 WISE Awards winners announced
DOHA WORLD Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) announced the WISE Awards 2012 on Wednesday. Established by Qatar Foundation Chairperson Her Highness Sheikha Moza, the WISE Awards recognise an individual or team of up to six people for an outstanding, worldclass contribution to education. This year six groundbreaking projects from around the world have been given WISE Awards under the theme “Transforming Education”. The Awards will be given away during the WISE summit to be held from November 13 to 15 in Doha. Projects from Bangladesh, Cambodia, Chile, Denmark, India and the United States of America have won the prestigious awards this year. The winning initiatives were selected by a jury of leading education experts after a pre-selection of 24 finalists from 14 countries. The projects were selected for making a tangible and positive impact upon society as well as their innovative approach to solving important global problems. ‘Satya Bharti School Programme’ from India is one of the award winning projects. Its aim is to provide quality education to underprivileged children in rural India. The Bharti Foundation project meant for pre-primary or primary school levels has a national reach. More than 62,000 children have benefited from the programme in the in the last six years. At present 37,500 children are part of the programme that was started in 2006. ‘Cristo Rey Network Corporate Work Study Program’ of Cristo Rey Network from the USA, which is a sustainable revenue model of high school education for students from the low-income group, is another winner this year. Created in 1996, it is a national level programme that caters to secondary school students and has so far benefited 7,400 students. ‘PSU Educarchile’ project from Chile is won the Award for its free interactive online pre-college programme in Chile for secondary students. Created in 2006, it benefits 1,200,000 students every year.
‘RoboBraille’, a Danish initiative to transform documents into Braille and other formats was yet another winner this year.
Created in 2004 by Denmark’s Synscenter Refsnaes National Center for Blind and Partially Sighted Children, it is a programme meant for those with special needs or disabilities. The number of beneficiaries has exceeded 10,000 and it has 1,000-2,000 daily users.
‘Solar-Powered Floating Schools’ project from Bangladesh also won one of the WISE Awards this year.
The project aims at ensuring year-round education in flood-prone areas. Initiated by Shohola Swanirvar Sangstha, the project looks for lifelong and informal learning. A national programme started in 2002, it has benefitted 68,388 so far.
A Cambodian project ‘Transforming Steung Meanchey through Education’ has also won this year’s Award.
It aims at providing education and care for children and families from the Steung Meanchey landfill district near Phnom Penh. Started in 2004 by Cambodian Children’s Fund (CCF), the project is meant for the preprimary and primary students and has benefitted over 1,200 children and their families so far.
Incidentally, this year one of the WISE Awards went to a project which, in addition to “Transforming Education”, has best provided innovative financing of primary education.
The winning project comes from Bangladesh, where solar-powered floating schools ensure year-round primary education to students in flood-prone areas, even during the height of the monsoon period.