LAUREATES OF UNESCO LITERACY PRIZES 2001
Paris, August 8 (No.2001-86)- UNESCO's international literacy prizes this
year rewarded projects and programmes in New Zealand, Brazil, China,
Haiti, and Senegal, as selected by an international jury that met in
Paris in July to name the laureates of the International Reading
Association Literacy Award, the Noma Literacy Prize, the two King Sejong
Literacy Prizes and the Malcolm Adiseshiah International Literacy Prize.
The five prizes reward particularly effective contributions to
the fight against illiteracy, one of UNESCO's major concerns. Laureates
were chosen from among 27 nominations submitted by governments and one
candidate entered by a non-governmental organization. They will receive
their prizes on the occasion of International Literacy Day (September 8)
in their home countries.
The $15,000 International Reading Association Literacy Award
(created in 1979) will be presented to Workbase, the National Centre for
Workplace Literacy and Language (New Zealand). The organisation is
rewarded for, notably, raising literacy skills in the workplace,
particularly among minority groups and the socially excluded. An
Honourable Mention rewards the Association des Eglises de Pentecôte du
Rwanda (the Rwanda Associatian of Pentecostal Churches), notably for
having reconstructed literacy centres in several provinces.
The $15,000 Noma Literacy Prize (created in 1980) this year goes
to the Brazilian Institute for Community Studies and Support (IBEAC).
The Jury stressed the importance of IBEAC's youth and adult education
programme in the state of São Paulo which involves civil society in
projects relating to social exclusion and the creation of Community
Councils of Education, Culture and Social Support. An Honourable Mention
is awarded to Mahila Samakhya Programme: Education for Women's Equality
(India), for empowering the women of 8,000 villages to transform their
lives by changing deeply-rooted cultural practices and creating a
learning environment for them and for their children.
The two King Sejong Literacy Prizes (created in 1989, for a
value of $15,000 each) recompense Tianshui Education Commission (Gansu
Province, China) for the diversity and flexibility of its literacy
programmes using, for example, itinerant teachers and home tutoring. The
other King Sejong Literacy Prize laureate is the Project
Alfatibonit/Alfa Desalin of the Gérin-Lajoie Foundation (Haiti),
rewarded for creating a partnership with the government in an isolated
area and for combining literacy with other activities such as community
dispensaries and micro-enterprises.
The King Sejong Honourable Mentions are awarded to the Federal Literacy
Association (Germany), notably for its national media campaign and
utilization of modern technology, and to the Adult Education
Division of the Israeli Education Ministry for
adapting its Ulpan language school programmes to the oral culture of
The $15,000 Malcolm Adiseshiah Literacy Prize, created in 1998,
is given to the Direction de l'alphabetisation et de l'éducation de base
(DAEB, Senegal) for reaching out to the rural populations, particularly
women and out-of-school children and for its post-literacy activities.
An Honourable Mention will be given to the Marine Fisheries Ministry of
Morocco and its action in favour of seaboard fishermen.
The Jury also expressed the wish to support the work conducted
in Medellin (Colombia) by the Sisters of Marie Auxiliatrice and, in
Kenya, by Bible Translation and Literacy.
Funding for the International Reading Association Literacy Award, the
Noma Prize, the two King Sejong Prizes and the Malcolm Adiseshiah Prize
comes from the generous donations of the International Reading
Association, the late Soichi Noma and Japanese Publisher Kodansha, the
governments of Korea and India.
As International Literacy Day this year is on Saturday, the
ceremony to be held at UNESCO will take place on September 10 (6 p.m.).