Three innovative projects from Morocco, Nigeria and South Africa are among the top 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. This year sees 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) make the final 12 finalist projects for the 2018 WISE Awards.
The finalists were picked from a pool of 413 projects, and evaluated according to strict criteria including that they must be successful, innovative education projects that have already demonstrated a transformative impact on individuals, communities, and society, and that they are financially stable, have a clear development plan, scalable and replicable.
“We congratulate Safe Space Club for Girls, ANEER and Partners for Possibility for making it to the finalist stage. 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,” explains Stavros N. Yiannouka, CEO of WISE.
ANEER by Fondation Zakoura, provides free preschool education for children aged 4 to 5 in rural regions of Morocco. Based on community development, ANEER sensitizes and educates parents to the importance of preschools while enabling adult literacy, giving them the tools to manage the project in the future.
“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 Symphonia for South Africa, declares: “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 by Symphonia is a program that improves the quality of education by capacitating principals in under-resourced schools and building their leadership skills through partnerships with business leaders. Adds van Rhyn: “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.”
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s Safe Space Club for Girls – the initiative by the Centre for Girl-Child Education – uses mentor-led safe spaces, community engagement, subsidization of school fees and training of female teachers to complement government schooling and improve the acquisition of basic academic competencies (literacy and numeracy skills) by girls.
“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.
Since 2009, WISE has received more than 3,200 applications from over 150 countries – and so far 54 projects have won the WISE Awards, from a wide variety of sectors and locations for their innovative character, their positive contribution and their potential for scalability and adaptability.
This year’s 12 finalist – whose projects come from eleven countries and were shortlisted for their innovative solutions to education challenges and their positive social impact – will be reviewed by a jury of experts and the six WISE Awards winning projects will be announced mid-July 2018 and celebrated at WISE@NewYork Forum in the United States, come September this year. In addition to publicity and networking opportunities, each project receives US$20,000 .