Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation, attended the WISE Awards Plenary Session Wednesday.
The 2021 WISE Awards winners came together for the ‘Post-pandemic Pillars of Education: Designing and Funding New Approaches to Learning’ plenary to shed light on how their work is defining the education landscape of tomorrow.
HE Sheikha Hind bint Hamad al-Thani, Vice-Chairperson and CEO of Qatar Foundation, and a number of officials, experts and specialists from various countries participating in the conference, were present.
WISE, Qatar Foundation’s global initiative dedicated to building the future of education through innovation, invited global audiences to share in an invaluable exchange of knowledge and dialogue on day two of the 2021 WISE Summit, with a range of virtual, in-person and hybrid sessions.
In the final stages, 12 projects from nine countries competed for prizes, including six winning projects, all of which were evaluated according to strict criteria that include factors of innovation, scalability and sustainability and its impact on individuals, groups and societies in their local environments or at the global level, as well as the distinction of financial stability, adopting a clear development plan and be capable of development and replication. All seek to address the most pressing global challenges in the field of education.
This year’s six winners are: the Delhi Government’s Happiness Curriculum, creating time at school to develop mindfulness, critical thinking and other social and emotional skills; Taleemabad, a ‘city of education’ in Pakistan providing localised content using digital technologies; Trauma Informed Schools in Turkey to help young Syrian refugees and the community around them; Onetab, a solar-charged tablet developed by the UK and Nigeria-based company Onebillion to build literacy and numeracy schools in any country; ProFuturo Digital Education Programme, from the Telefonica and la Caixa foundations, creating a digital education programme in areas without connectivity, and Let’s All Learn to Read , an innovative model for developing literacy in Colombia and Panama.
Representatives of each of the winning projects spoke about how they had impacted the education in their countries and beyond. They also highlighted how their projects have helped millions of children around the world to get quality education and how this has a very positive impact on the students and their attitudes. In addition to publicity and networking opportunities, each project will receive $20,000.
Dr Ameena Abdul-Majeed, director of programmes and chief curator at WISE handed over the awards at the session. Congratulating the winning projects and speaking about the projects and their impacts on the societies, Dr Abdul-Majeed noted that the projects are true examples of innovation and impactful education.
“The work that is celebrated by the WISE Awards is vitally important, as each of our winners has built an effective, tested solution to a global educational challenge. The projects are already transforming lives and creating a pathway for others to follow. At this year’s Summit, we are not only congratulating our winners on their achievements, but also showcasing their innovation on a global stage. It is crucial that policymakers and civil society leaders look at those best practices as solutions for a greater impact on learners,” she said.
The speakers at the WISE Awards plenary included Tanmay Bakshi, an 18-year-old Google Developer Expert for Machine Learning and Advisory Software Engineer at IBM; Emiliana Vegas, Senior Fellow and Co-Director at the Centre for Universal Education, Brookings Institution; Lydia Wilbard, National Director, CAMFED Tanzania; and Shannon May, Co-Founder and President of NewGlobe.
Meanwhile, the WISE Studio hosted panels and chats, featuring experts from around the world, to discuss the future of edtech, student and teacher wellbeing, the relevance of higher education, and the importance of ethical leadership and learning ecosystems.
Gitanjali Rao,16-year-old Innovator, Author, STEM Promoter and TIME Magazine’s ‘Kid of the Year’ 2020, , led an insightful Ask me Anything session on ‘Encouraging Girls to Embrace STEM Education’, inspiring girls and women to break free from biases, social norms and expectations standing in the way of their education quality.
The 2021 WISE Summit will conclude with a plenary session this afternoon.
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