A total of 63 applications for this year’s UNESCO International Literacy Prize are being judged at UNESCO headquarters this week.
The theme for this year focuses on connections between literacy and future sustainable development agenda. Together with the relevance to this theme, the International Jury panel will also consider the theme under the UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize, supported by the Republic of korea, “literacy in multilingual contexts”, and/or that of the UNESCO Confucius Prize for Literacy, supported by China, “rural adults and out-of-school youth, especially women and girls”.
In response to the call for nominations launched on the 25 of May 2015, applications were received from geographical representation as follows: 33 from Africa, 13 from Asia and Pacific Region, 6 from the Arab States, 14 from Europe and North America and 11 from Latin America and the Caribbean. 34 applications were from NGOs, 16 applications from government programs and 13 applications were received from others institutions and individuals.
The opening session of the International Jury meeting was overseen by , Mr Qian Tang, Assistant Director-General for Education, UNESCO. On 8 June, the International Jury, made up of 6 members (hyperlink) started to evaluate the 63 applications in order to recommend five programmes to the UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova.
With 781 million illiterate adults, 250 million children with limited literacy skills, as well as 121 million out-of-school children and adolescents worldwide, promoting literacy is a core element of the UNESCO Education Sector’s work.
This International Jury reflects representation from all corners of the world: Dr. Raafat A. Radwan, a senior consultant to the Arab Labour Organization for Human Development (Egypt) who serves asthe Chair of the Jury by consensus of the other newly-appointed members: Ms. Helen Abadzi (Greece), an education specialist who served at the World Bank for over 27 years; Ms. Maria Aurora Carrillo Gullo (Colombia), a CEO and educational director of the Transformemos Foundation; Mr. Amadou Wade Diagne (Senegal), an expert in non-formal education and literacy with extensive experience in African; Mr. Yimin Yuan (China), the Vice President and Research Fellow of Jiangsu Agency for Educational Evaluation; and Mr. Hyang Keun Song (Republic of Korea), the President of King Sejong Institute Foundation.
Prizes are awarded each year to individuals, governments and non-governmental organizations in recognition of their distinguished contribution to the promotion of literacy and non-formal education. Each prizewinner will receive a monetary award of US $20.000, a silver medal and a certificate at an international ceremony which will take place at UNESCO headquarters on 8 September 2015, in commemoration of the International Literacy Day.