Qatar Foundation Establishes $500,000 WISE Prize for Education

Global education summit concludes with focus on 21st century challenges in education, call for establishment of a task force to restore Haiti's education capabilities

Dec 14, 2010, 13:51 ET from World Innovation Summit for Education - WISE

DOHA, Qatar, Dec. 14, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- The first $500,000 WISE Prize for Education will be awarded at the 2011 World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) in November 2011, recognizing individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to education. Nominations will be accepted by the Qatar Foundation from Feb. 1 to April 30, 2011. The establishment of the WISE Prize for Education was one of the outcomes of the WISE 2010 Summit, held in Doha, Qatar, Dec. 7-9.

Addressing the closing session last week, Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser said, "Through the fruitful discussion and the main concerns raised, in addition to the constructive ideas emerging from various academic, professional, political and cultural backgrounds, I am certain that WISE will lead to opening wide horizons for developing quality education and expanding its reach. I look forward to WISE being engaged more and more in offering alternatives and solutions to the main education problems and challenges we are facing."

Over three days, the WISE Summit witnessed a diverse range of innovations, experiences and emerging new ideas from around the world. From funding to curricula, from conflict and reconciliation to new skills, from assessment to improvement of the quality of education, attendees, laureates and speakers came to WISE to advance international dialogue and propose realistic and effective solutions as well as new ideas.

In a live address to WISE, broadcast via satellite, Professor Jeff Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, described WISE as an extremely crucial and timely forum adding that "every single one of the Millennium Development Goals has education at the core. Education isn't simply a short stage of life – it is really about an entire lifetime."

His Excellency Sheikh Abdulla bin Ali Al-Thani, Chairman of WISE, ended proceedings by announcing three major initiatives arising from the Summit. He said: "WISE is, above all, about outcomes. And I am pleased that I can announce some important decisions which we intend to enact in the course of the coming year".

The main announcements from WISE 2010 are:

  • The establishment of the WISE Prize for Education. This annual award will be the world's first major international prize for education. In a sustained effort to raise global awareness of the crucial role of education in all societies, the WISE Prize for Education will reward individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to any field or level of education. Nominations for the first WISE Prize for Education will be invited from February 1st to April 30th, and the prize will be awarded at the WISE Summit 2011. Selected by a jury of five distinguished personalities, the winner will receive an award of $500,000.
  • The launch of a WISE publication and web portal. WISE will create a publication that will, for the first time, record major achievements and initiatives in the world of international education, including those at WISE. This key point of reference for innovations in education will be complemented by an enhanced WISE website that will host more in depth information and provide collaborative for a for discussion. Both should be launched between spring and fall 2011.
  • Call for the establishment of a taskforce dedicated to education system rebuilding in Haiti. The destruction by the devastating earthquake of Haiti's entire educational system has been a focus of WISE 2010 and has resulted in an appeal for the creation of a taskforce. This taskforce will call for the global community to unite and build a new educational system in Haiti from the ground up. The taskforce will report back with a concrete action plan for education in Haiti.

WISE has also called for an acceleration of best practices and support for innovative ideas in education. More than 40 projects and initiatives have been identified by participants at the Summit as existing and effective means to address 21st century educational challenges. WISE will provide support to share these experiences and connect projects leaders and potential partners in spreading these initiatives. In parallel, new areas meriting immediate support have been identified by the WISE community and will be promoted.

His Excellency Sheikh Abdulla bin Ali Al-Thani also took the opportunity to announce that the third Annual WISE Summit will be held from November 1st to November 3rd in Doha, Qatar.

About the World Innovation Summit for Education - WISE

WISE is a global collaborative initiative established by the Qatar Foundation under the high patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser. The initiative seeks to contribute to 21st century challenges and their impact on education. With 1,000 major education stakeholders, opinion leaders and decision-makers from diverse disciplines in over 120 countries participating, WISE endeavours to propose visionary thinking on education, offer new ways of addressing current global challenges and untapped opportunities and anticipate future education models. The WISE Forum takes place in Doha, Qatar, from December 7th-9th 2010.

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