Nepal, South Africa and Venezuela to receive UNESCO-Hamdan education prize
“I saw how the marginalized can teach the well- resourced what education means and how partnership can make differences.” This was the verdict of jury member Ora Kwo (China) on the Nepalese, South African and Venezuelan education projects which were recently awarded a prestigious prize for improving the quality of teachers and teaching.
The UNESCO-Hamdan Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum Prize for Outstanding Practice and Performance in Enhancing the Effectiveness of Teachers, awarded every two years, consists of US $270.000 and is divided between three winners.
What the winning projects have in common is reaching the marginalized. The Rato Bangala Foundation (Nepal) trains teachers to work with children in the under-resourced Dailekh region. The African Institute for Mathematical Sciences Schools Enrichment Centre (South Africa) has trained 800 teachers countrywide in mathematical thinking with the aim of raising standards of maths teaching. The Banco del Libro (Venezuela) promotes reading, organizes libraries for schools and the public and develops evaluation tools to recommend books for children.
“While the financial value of the Prize will certainly carry practical implications to support the work of the awardees, the long-term global impact on learning is beyond measure”, according to Ora Kwo. “It is not just a matter of planning or dreaming. It is about both...”
Former laureates of the 2010-2011 edition of the prize have been able to build capacity and enhance their activities and outreach. For example, the Centre Congolais Education Pour Tous (Democratic Republic of the Congo) was able to buy its own premises, equipment and even transport to carry out its training away from the Centre. In the case of the Centro de Excelencia para la investigación y difusión de la lectura y escritura (Dominican Republic), 200 classroom libraries were provided to public schools to helping to improve teachers’ pedagogical and literacy activities. Training activities was provided to almost 2,000 education professionals, affecting 10,000 students.
The UNESCO-Hamdan Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum Prize for Outstanding Practice and Performance in Enhancing the Effectiveness of Teachers’ was established in 2009 and is funded by Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum of Dubai for three cycles (2009-2010, 2011-2012 and 2013-2014).