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Running in parallel with the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE), the annual WISE Awards are designed to identify, showcase and promote innovative educational projects from around the world in order to spread best practices and build the future of education.
Since 2009, over 1,300 applications from 116 countries have been received and 18 awards have been given for innovative projects with best practices.
The Peninsula spoke to some of the award winners in the previous years to find how WISE awards have supported their practices in education for Qatar, Middle East and for the world at large.
“The acknowledgement of the Mother Child Education Program’s (MOCEP) success as an innovative, inclusive, and cost-effective programme increased ACEV’s exposure internationally. It significantly enhanced the process of ACEV sharing its expertise and know-how throughout the Middle East in particular and other regions of the world in general,” said Ayla Goksel, CEO of ACEV, a Turkish NGO working in early childhood, female literacy and parent training, and of the Özyegen Foundation. It provides financial aid to students builds educational facilities and founded Özyegin University.
Qatar Foundation has also shown special interest in MOCEP. They have expressed that there is a lot to learn from different stakeholders and their new models to enhance the delivery and effectiveness of education services especially to socio - economically disadvantaged groups.
“Following the award, Dr Abdulla bin Ali Al Thani expressed his wish to implement ACEV’s early childhood and family education programmes as a best practice in other Arab countries as well. This support is much needed as funding usually is the bottleneck for partnerships to be realised,” said Goksel.
ACEV is currently workings toward implementing MOCEP in Qatar with the Qatar Foundation’s Child Education Center.
Dr Ahmad Hasnah, Associate Vice President for Higher Education of the Qatar Foundation’s Education Division, is leading the effort. The programme likely to pilot in 2012 with project coordinators, trainers, academicians, and beneficiaries in Qatar and assess the impact it has had on the target group of mothers and children at the end of a year of partnership.
“Success in the process and results may pave the way for piloting similar programme implementations in countries such as Palestine and Syria who have already requested MOCEP to be implemented in their midst,” said Goksel.
While, Mushtaq Chhapra, Chairman and a Founding Director of The Citizens Foundation (TCF) said the WISE award has helped to educate more children through his foundation by giving out many scholarships. “The award money from WISE was used to provide scholarships for 167 bright and talented children enrolled at various TCF schools. The cost of educating a child is $120 and these scholarships include tuition fees, uniforms and stationery costs for the whole school year for these children,” said Mustaq.
The TCF was selected as one of the six WISE Awards winners in 2010. It is one of the largest non-profit organisations in Pakistan in the field of education. Since it was founded in 1995, it has run a professionally managed network of 730 purpose-built schools in the poorest rural areas and most neglected urban slums of Pakistan.
The OpenCourseWare (OCW) at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is another project which was awarded for its work during the 2010 WSIE summit. Presently the OpenCourseWare is looking to collaborate with WISE for future activities.
“The MIT OpenCourseWare programme had no relationship with WISE prior to receiving the WISE award. Now we are collaborating with them on public relations and awareness-building activities including a soon-to-be- released WISE web video documentary,” said Cecilia D’Oliveira, Executive Director, OCW .
“We would love the opportunity to discuss potential new collaborations with WISE and the Qatar Foundation that would support our ongoing work and increase the impact of OpenCourseWare around the world,” said D’Oliveira.
The selected Awards finalists and winners act as a reference and set new standards for the international community.
In addition to benefiting from the recognition of leading experts from the educational world, the winning projects are formally presented with a cash prize of US $20,000 and are given access to international exposure to encourage the sharing of best practices worldwide.