The 2017 edition of the UNESCO King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa Prize for the Use of ICTs in Education will be awarded to laureates from Morocco and India by the Director-General of UNESCO at the Award Ceremony to be held at UNESCO Headquarters on 7 March 2018. The Award Ceremony will be held from 12:00 to 13:00 in Room I to be opened by the Director-General of UNESCO and H.E. Jawad bin Salem Al Arrayed, the Deputy Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain. Prior to the Award Ceremony, a Laureates’ Seminar will be organized from 10:00 to 11:30 in Room IV to showcase the two prize winning projects. An exhibition of the two prize winning projects and other five projects that were shortlisted will be staged in Salle foyer from 09:30 to 15:00.
The two Prize winning projects, the national Programme on Mainstreaming ICTs for Education (Programme de Généralisation des Technologies de l´Information et de la Communication pour l´Enseignement, Programme GENIE) – Morocco, and The Connected Learning Initiative (Programme CLIX) - India, articulate the values and principles of the theme of the 2017 Prize “Use of ICT to Increase Access to Quality Education” with a view to promote innovations in leveraging ICTs for achieving SDG 4.
The 2017 edition of the Prize attracted 143 eligible applications from 79 countries across all the regions, recording the highest number of nominations since its inception in 2005. The Director-General of UNESCO selected the two laureates of the 2017 Prize based on the recommendation of an international jury, in recognition of their outstanding work in carrying out innovative practices to leverage ICTs to increase access to quality education and lifelong learning opportunities.
The GENIE Programme
The GENIE program, launched in 2005, is a large-scale, long-term national policy and initiative developed and implemented by the Ministry of National Education and Vocational Training, Higher Education and Scientific Research, Morocco. It aims to incorporate ICT to improve the access and quality of education in primary and secondary schools. It incorporates key pillars for an effective national ICT in education policy such as infrastructure, teacher training, development of digital resources and transformation of teaching and learning practices.
It has provided infrastructure, digital devices and internet connectivity to more than 10 000 schools, and has promoted pedagogical innovations by providing more than 300 000 teachers and school administrators across the country with in-service training. It fosters the creative use of ICT to ensure an inclusive access to quality education in every single school of the country and covers the four main languages used in schools (French, Arabic, English and Amazigh).
The holistic approach to the planning of the policy has contributed to the sustainability of the large-scale national programme and has catalysed significant changes in the educational system in Morocco. The programme attached great emphasis on initial teacher training (ITT), ensuring that the new generation of teachers will acquire the necessary competencies to effectively incorporate ICT in their teaching practices. The provision of digital educational resources in four languages (French, Arabic, English and Amazigh) has ensured universal access to digital resources through national ICT in education online platform (www.taalimtice.ma).
The CLIX Programme
The CLIX programme, developed by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA) and the TATA Trusts, India, leverages ICTs to improve the chances of students from underserved communities to access secondary and higher education in India. It provides high quality platform-based, blended learning experiences in three languages: Hindi, Telugu and English. So far, the programme has reached 478 governmental high schools, 1 767 teachers and 46 420 students in four Indian States.
Through a multi-stakeholder partnership, the programme brings together universities, foundations and local governments to tackle the challenge of improving the quality of education, particularly in STEM education. It has designed a blended teaching and learning process that is accessible by basic digital devices and low internet connectivity. The blended learning is supported by good quality and open source digital educational materials that are developed in cooperation with respective partners. Over 15 blended learning modules in mathematics, science, English and digital literacy in three languages have been offered. The data on the online learning have been tracked and processed to assess the project results and promote evidence-based decision-making for national and local governments. The programme also prioritizes teachers’ engagement and professional development with appropriate incentive mechanism.
For more information about the Award Ceremony and Laureates’ Seminar, please contact email@example.com.