South African Initiative Wins Prestigious WISE Awards

Partners for Possibility” is part of the six 2018 WISE Awards Winning projects

The World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE), an initiative of Qatar Foundation (QF), has announced the South African project “Partners for Possibility” (PfP) as a winner of its 2018 WISE Awards. Each year, the WISE Awards recognise and promote innovative projects from across the world that are addressing global educational challenges.

Partners for Possibility, the flagship programme of Symphonia for South Africa (SSA), improves the quality of education by capacitating principals in under-resourced schools and building their leadership skills through partnerships with business leaders. Partners participate in a 12-month leadership development program, while tackling together challenges in schools.

To date, this initiative has benefitted 1,630 school principals and business leaders, while impacting 625,000 schoolchildren.

Dr Louise van Rhyn, founder of the Partners for Possibility programme, commented: ‘’To be recognized as the winner of the 2018 WISE Awards is a very special achievement. It means that the Partners for Possibility (PfP) programme meets the criteria of being a creative solution to a pressing educational challenge, that is, reducing the inequalities in the South African education system.”

She added: “We are humbled to have a global platform to share the insights and solutions of the programme, as well as the opportunity to shed light on how its innovations can be applied to other industries and countries. Beyond this, we look forward to continued networking with the other global nominees who share our passion for quality education for all children.”

Stavros N. Yiannouka, CEO of WISE said, congratulating the winners: “This year we have received 413 applications for the WISE Awards program. The rigorous selection process has succeeded in finding six excellent and innovative projects addressing a diverse mix of educational challenges from around the world. This demonstrates that there are existing global organizations and individuals who share our passion for tackling education challenges with innovative solutions. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our Awards jury members who did a thorough job in evaluating the projects.”

The five other 2018 WISE Awards winners are Safe Spaces Clubs for Girls (Nigeria), One Village One Pre-School (China), Generation (USA), Technology-Based Deaf Education (Pakistan) and 1001 Nights Life Skills and Citizenship Education Program (Canada).

Other pressing educational issues tackled by the 2018 WISE Awards winning projects include girls’ education, early childhood education, the refugee crisis, cultural exchange, citizenship values, youth employment, entrepreneurship in disadvantaged communities, deaf education, and stimulating critical and creative thinking.

The Awards winners are evaluated according to strict criteria. They must be established, innovative educational projects that have already demonstrated a transformative impact on the individuals, communities, and society of their context. They also need to be financially stable, have a clear development plan, and be scalable and replicable.

The projects will be celebrated on September 22 at WISE@NY in New York, USA. In addition to publicity and networking opportunities, each will receive $20,000 (US).

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About the WISE Awards:

Each year, the WISE Awards recognize and promote six successful innovative projects that are addressing global educational challenges. Since 2009, WISE has received more than 3,200 applications from over 150 countries. Up until now, 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. These projects represent a growing resource of expertise and sound educational practice. Year by year, WISE is building a community of educational innovators which offers a fertile environment for groundbreaking collaborations. Today the WISE Awards network comprises pioneering projects that are helping bring real change to societies and communities.

For further information, visit www.wise-qatar.org/wise-awards

About the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE):

The World Innovation Summit for Education was established by Qatar Foundation in 2009 under the leadership of its Chairperson, Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser. WISE is an international, multi-sectoral platform for creative, evidence-based thinking, debate, and purposeful action in education.  Through the biennial summit, collaborative research and a range of on-going programs, WISE is a global reference in new approaches to education.

For further information about WISE, visit www.wise-qatar.org