Educational projects from three African countries among the finalists for WISE Awards

Three innovative projects from Morocco, Nigeria and South Africa are among the 12 finalists chosen by the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) 2018 Awards.

Each year, the WISE Awards recognise and promote successful innovative projects that are addressing global educational challenges. Since it was established by Qatar Foundation in 2009, WISE has received more than 2,850 applications from over 150 countries. Today, 54 projects have been awarded from a wide variety of sectors and locations for their innovative character, their positive contribution and their potential for scalability and adaptability.

The projects chosen represent a growing resource of expertise and sound educational practice and the finalists were picked from a pool of 413 projects and evaluated according to strict criteria that include transformation and scalability.

Safe Space Club for Girls, an initiative of the Centre for Girl-Child Education (CGE) in Nigeria, Action Nationale pour l’Education de la petite Enfance en zone Rurale (ANEER) by Fondation Zakoura in Morocco, and Partners for Possibility, by Symphonia for South Africa (SSA) made the final 12 finalist projects for the 2018 WISE Awards.

“We congratulate Safe Space Club for Girls, ANEER and Partners for Possibility for making it to the finalist stage,” said Stavros N. Yiannouka, CEO of WISE. “Each of the 2018 WISE Awards finalists has constructed an effective, tested solution to a global educational challenge. Whether it’s ensuring fundamental education for refugees or creating the next generation of empathetic and conscious leaders, each project is already transforming lives, and provides an inspirational model for others to adopt. This is vital to our mission at WISE, which centers around collaboration.”

The Awards also took to Twitter saying: “Congratulations to all the outstanding 2018 Finalists!

A 2018 WISE Awards finalist from the Safe Space for Girls project during her campaign rehearsal. Courtesy: WISE Awards/Marhaba

ANEER by Fondation Zakoura, one of the finalists, provides free pre-school education for children aged 4 to 5 in rural regions of Morocco. Based on community development, ANEER also focuses on parental education and local capacity building.

“We are very much honoured to be nominated as finalists for the WISE awards…We hope that this opportunity will shed light on the importance of early childhood education and will encourage us all to make it a priority in the region,” says Rita El Kadiri, executive director (Development and Partnerships) of Fondation Zakoura.

While Dr. Louise van Rhyn, CEO and founder of Partners for Possibility for South Africa, said, “We are excited about the impact we have already seen in 725 schools across South Africa and are committed to reach thousands more schools in the future.”

Partners for Possibility, South Africa, aims to improve the quality of education by capacitating the school principals of under-resourced schools to lead change within their schools and their communities, through connecting business and school leaders.

“The key to doing this is to ensure that all school principals (not just those in well-resourced schools) are equipped and supported for their critically-important task to lead the changes necessary to prepare our children for a better future,” van Rhyn adds.

Meanwhile, Nigeria’s Safe Space Club for Girls, an initiative by the Centre for Girl-Child Education, uses intensive mentor-led “safe space” girls groups for adolescent girls to acquire the basic academic competencies (including literacy and numeracy) and critical life skills they would need to succeed in school and beyond.

“Every Girl, no matter where she is, deserves the right to 12 years of schooling and needs to be empowered to help her live a healthy and poverty free life so that she can make informed decision about what she wants for herself,” explains Habiba Mohammed, co-director and team leader of the Centre for Girl-Child Education.

Also included in the finalists are: Technology-Based Deaf Education (Pakistan), 1001 Nights Life Skills and Citizenship Education Program (Canada), Generation (USA), Life Project 4 Youth (France), Ghata (Lebanon), TAK-TAK-TAK (Mexico), African Children’s Stories (Australia), StoryWeaver (India), One Village One Preschool (China)

The projects, which were selected from eleven countries, are supporting the replication of cutting-edge practices and encouraging new collaboration around the world and will be reviewed by a jury of experts. The winning projects, in addition to publicity and networking opportunities, will each receive US$20,000.

The six WISE Awards winning projects will be announced mid-July 2018 and celebrated at WISE@NewYork Forum in the United States on September 22 this year.