The WISE Awards 2013 go to six outstanding educational projects which solve concrete issues and have a big impact.
This year winners came from Uganda, Canada, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Morocco and Ireland.
With more than 500 applications the jury’s task was not an easy one.
“Being a jury member on the WISE Awards was tough because we had 14 finalists, and we had to select six of those and the quality of the work that is done across the world is amazing and also different people tackling different problems,” explained Maggie Aderin-Pocock who was one of the jurors.
Pathways to Education is a project in Canada. It helps young people from low-income communities to graduate from high-school and get access to post-secondary education, reducing drop outs from 56% to 13%.
“Right now there are 5000 students from Halifax to Winnipeg and the graduation rate has increased 300%,” Carolyn Acker from the project pointed out.
Another jury’s favorite was Te Kotahitanga, an in-classroom secondary school teacher programme to improve education achievement and opportunities for Maori students who for decades have been scoring worse than the non Maori ones.
Mere Berryman from the project revealed they were all surprised and delighted to have won an award.
“We were surprised, I mean this is the first time a Wise awards has ever come to new Zealand so that is a huge honour for us in our little country on the other side of the world.”
Our correspondent Aurora Velez in Qatar said, “Since these WISE Awards were inaugurated five years ago, 30 educational projects have received recognition. Their representatives have all gathered here and they meet and discuss their work in the corridors and talk about collaboration.”