The Deputy Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Deputy Director-General of UNESCO, Mr Getachew Engida, will award the 2015 UNESCO-King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa Prize for the Use of Information and Communication Technologies in Education to two Prizewinners: the Omar Dengo Foundation Project (Costa Rica) represented by Ms Leda Muñoz, Executive Director; and the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Singapore represented by Mr Wee Loo Kang Lawrence, Senior Specialist at the Educational Technology Division, Ministry of Education of Singapore, at UNESCO Headquarters on 13 January.
This year, UNESCO chose the theme “Pedagogical Innovation in the Use of ICTs in Teaching and Learning” with a view to leverage ICTs to achieve Education 2030. The 10th anniversary of the Prize reaffirms UNESCO’s commitment to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. Teachers, schools as well as institutions are using ICTs innovatively every day to improve the quality of learning and enable learning anytime and anywhere. In this context, this Prize is giving higher priority to harnessing ICTs with a view of achieving Education 2030.
The US $50,000 annual Prize is to be divided equally between the two Prizewinners:
The project “National Program of Educational Informatics” (PRONIE) of the Omar Dengo Foundation (Costa Rica), contributes to improving the quality and equity of learning opportunities within the public education system through the use of digital technologies. It gives priority to marginalized children and youth from rural and marginal urban areas. Since 1988, 8,674,521 students have benefited from the program in pre-schools, primary schools, secondary schools and TVET schools. The program PRONIE has developed an outstanding systematic approach to enhance students’ capacities to create ICT products across the school system. Furthermore, the program also focuses on teachers’ continuous training and monitoring to improve their teaching skills in educational informatics.
The Ministry of Education of the Republic of Singapore is rewarded for its project “Open Source Physics@Singapore”. The project has been developed by the Educational Technology Division of the Ministry of Education since 2012. Its goal is to give users, including students and teachers, the freedom to learn from, build on and share well designed ICT resources for teaching and learning physics. An outstanding innovative tool, “Open Source Physics@Singapore” for learning physics using an open platform, including open source code and open content, was developed. Both students and teachers work in a collaborative and innovative way, benefiting from the adaptable resources that it provides for better learning and teaching. So far, 9,800 students have been reached by the program in primary, secondary and TVET schools. In addition, the software application enhanced collaboration between the educational community, the Ministry and industry. It is easily scalable to a larger community as the tools and content are available worldwide.
The winners were selected by the Director-General of UNESCO on the recommendation of an international jury which examined 112 applications from 57 countries and 9 NGOS in official relations with UNESCO. Funded by the Kingdom of Bahrain, the Prize rewards individuals, institutions, or non-governmental organizations for projects and activities that demonstrate best practices and creative use of information and communication technologies to enhance learning, teaching and overall educational performance.
Journalists wishing to cover the ceremony should request accreditation from UNESCO’s Press Service: Isabelle Le Fournis, i.le-fournis(at)unesco.org