Wenhui Award supports more countries for innovative education responses to COVID
The past year has demonstrated more than ever the need for innovation and partnership-building for resilient and responsive education systems in times of crises. The Wenhui Award for Educational Innovation in the Asia-Pacific Region has helped to motivate many countries developing innovative approaches to education under emergency situations.
With the theme ‘Educational Innovation in Response to Pandemic and Other Emergencies’, the 2020 edition of the Wenhui Award has selected two Final Winners and three Recipients of Honourable Commendations out of nearly 100 applications from 21 countries. This marks a milestone as the number of applications achieved a historical high, with countries, institutions and individuals that had never applied for the Award joining the competition. For the first time, applicants from Maldives and Nepal won this regional Award in recognition of their innovative projects.
Applicant: Maldives National Institute of Education (Institution)
Project Title: Continuity of Education during Pandemic: Broadcasting of Lesson on National TV Channels (Telikilaas)
Introduction: Starting in April 2020, the project formed a partnership with three national television stations to develop educational programming and implement dual modes of teaching and learning: online classes and telecasted lessons. The lessons are complemented with daily interactive sessions via Google Classroom, YouTube, EduPage, TED-Ed, Moodle and other channels. They can be viewed by over 91,000 school children, involving 315 schools in the country including private, government and community-run schools. The project has gained popularity and shown success in a short period of time and will continue to broadcast more lessons in the future.
Applicant: Resources Himalaya Foundation (Institution)
Project Title: Building Science Chasing Coronavirus
Introduction: Initiated in April 2020, the project supports young scientists, science teachers, university professors and experts to combat COVID-19 through a nationwide network and awareness building. It has engaged young scientist volunteers from 65 out of 77 districts in Nepal to discuss strategies and activities needed in these efforts. The main beneficiaries are local science teachers, schools and community organizations, with the project expecting to cover all 77 districts of Nepal, educating local communities about COVID-19 through education materials and campaigns.
Applicant: Mr Kim FLINTOFF (Individual)
Project Title: STEM4Innovation
Introduction: Conceived in March 2020 by Australian educators, with implementation beginning in May 2020, this project generates authentic learning experiences for students and applies STEM-inspired, curriculum-linked, design-thinking processes to solutions related to COVID-19 and other community-related needs in Western Australia. It provides positive outcomes for multiple stakeholders, such as students, industry, communities and the public sector. The project is expected to extend to address several major tracks, including Health and Wellbeing, Space Science, Technology and Exploration, and other areas.
Applicant: Mr Ilya KAN (Individual)
Project Title: Teaching for Heroes
Introduction: The project was initiated in July 2020 by a student-run non-profit organization providing free online lessons to the children of doctors, nurses and other essential medical workers, as well as those from low-income families. Within two and one-half months, it completed over 5,500 individual lessons, involving more than 1,100 student-volunteers and 3,650 children. The goal is to complete 10,000 lessons across numerous countries and reach a wider population by continuing to find partners and charities to help children all over the world.
Applicant: Arus Education Sdn Bhd (Institution)
Project Title: Voices of COVID Generation
Introduction: Initiated in April 2020, this project places COVID-19 as the central theme, with learning objectives aligned to subjects within Malaysia’s national curriculum and Global Citizenship Education. It provides meaningful online and offline remote learning for students across the country. The online version is a website for self-learning, while the offline version is a physical Voices of COVID Generation (VOCG) Box via postage, involving 19 teachers as VOCG Leaders and 200 students from all over Malaysia. The virtual teacher training component scales up the reach of the programme, empowering teachers to conduct projects on their own and trigger new ideas for future initiatives.
The Winners will each be granted a prize of USD$20,000, offered by China to support further development and implementation of their innovative education projects that help local learners, educators and community members to tackle the challenges posed by the pandemic and future crises.
Jointly created by the National Commission of China for UNESCO and the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Programme of Educational Innovation for Development (APEID) in 2010, the Wenhui Award recognizes and rewards individuals and institutions that have made outstanding contributions to educational innovation in the Asia-Pacific region. The Chinese Society of Education is also a key partner and sponsor for the Award.
Each annual edition of the Wenhui Award is dedicated to a specific theme relevant for educational innovation. In addition to two Winners of the US$20,000 prize, Honourable Commendations are awarded to additional institutions or individuals. Since the inception of Wenhui Award, there have been 22 Winners and 34 Honourable Commendations from 19 different countries.