» Jury meeting for 2017 UNESCO International Literacy Prizes
27.06.2017 - Education Sector

Jury meeting for 2017 UNESCO International Literacy Prizes

The international jury is meeting to choose five programmes for this year’s UNESCO International Literacy Prizes from 27 to 29 June at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France.

The specific theme of this year’s Prizes is ‘Literacy in a Digital World’. Digital technologies are fundamentally changing the way people live, work, learn and socialize, as is the way literacy is understood, learnt and taught as part of a broader set of knowledge, skills and competences required in our contemporary societies.

Today, there are 758 million illiterate adults and 264 million out-of-school children and young people worldwide. Promoting literacy is a core element and mission of UNESCO’s Education Sector.

Together, with relevance to this year’s theme, the International Jury will also consider the other areas. For the UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize, supported by the Republic of Korea, the use and development of mother tongue in learning, educating and training is a key part.  The promotion of literacy for adults in rural areas and out-of-school youth, especially girls and women, is the focus for the UNESCO Confucius Prize for Literacy, supported by the Peoples‘ Republic of China. 

In response to the call for nominations launched on the 15 of May 2017, many applications were received from all around the world from NGOs, governmental programmes and from other institutions and individuals.  

Mr David Atchoarena, Director of the Division for Policies and Lifelong Learning Systems, opened the International Jury meeting at UNESCO on 27 June. The International Jury, made up of five members evaluated the applications in order to recommend five programmes to the Director-General of UNESCO Irina Bokova. 

The International Jury is composed of prominent experts from all regions of the world: Dr. Raafat A. Radwan, a senior consultant to the Arab Labour Organization for Human Development (Egypt); Ms. Helen Abadzi (Greece), an education specialist who served at the World Bank for over 27 years; Ms. Maria Aurora Carrillo Gullo (Colombia), a CEO and educational director of the Transformemos Foundation; Mr. Willy Ngaka (Uganda), a founding and sitting National Coordinator for the Centre for Lifelong Learning at Makerere University; and Mr. Yimin Yuan (China), the Vice President and Research Fellow of Jiangsu Agency for Educational Evaluation.

The Prizes are awarded each year to individuals, governments and non-governmental organizations in recognition of their distinguished contribution to the promotion of literate societies.  Each prizewinner will receive a monetary award of US $20,000, a silver medal and a certificate at the Award Ceremony, which will take place at UNESCO Headquarters on 8 September 2017, in commemoration of the International Literacy Day.

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