Education is everyone’s responsibility: A message from the 2018 Wenhui Award winners
This year, the theme of the Wenhui Award, Innovations in School, Family and Community Collaboration for Quality Education, carries an important message: Education is everyone’s responsibility.
An organic agriculture project in the Philippines and a community learning centre in Thailand, the co-winners of the 2018 Wenhui Award for Educational Innovation, convinced the Jury that they took this message to heart.
- The Organic Agriculture Integration in Basic Education through Student Field School project developed by Julito Contado Aligaen from Iloilo Science and Technology University in the Philippines demonstrated that experiential and discovery learning based on real-world socio-scientific issues is the most effective way for students to understand sustainable development issues. Six hundred primary and secondary school students, three hundred parents and fifty teachers involved in the project learned about the production of clean and nutritious food for a vibrant community and resilient environment, firm in their belief that synthetic fertilizers and toxic pesticides are not necessary in agriculture.
- The Ban Nai Soi Community Learning Centre established the Integrated Multicultural Education for Disadvantaged Youth along the Thai-Myanmar border in Northern Thailand to provide classes for languages, computer skills, vocational training as well as ethics and other subject areas to disadvantaged youth. Working with diverse partners and stakeholders, including non-formal education agencies, student-parent committees and alumni, organizations and communities, the Learning Centre believes that if the children receive more education, they could have a better future. Many of their students have started community development projects in their respective villages and some have founded their own community-based organizations.
Three Honourable Commendations were also selected.
- The School of Leadership, Afghanistan (SOLA) was founded to give young Afghan girls the opportunity to receive quality education. As Afghanistan’s first and only private boarding school for girls, SOLA provides a safe and nurturing environment for them to learn and to develop their leadership and life skills. The students stay on the campus in Kabul during the academic year, thus mitigating the risks inherent in traveling to and from school. The decision to start the boarding school from 6th grade onwards ensures that the girls can stay in school longer and delay their marriages until they are older.
- The Dhaka Ahsania Mission (DAM) in Bangladesh has implemented multi-dimensional programmes to improve the quality of life of the disadvantaged, poor and socially excluded people by working with communities, government, NGOs and corporate entities both at the national and international levels. They include the Unique Intervention for Quality Primary Education (UNIQUE) Multi-Grade Teaching-Learning, Family Life Education, and Community Collaboration for participatory monitory of school activities.
- The increasing number of school dropouts in Sri Lanka is a concern. The rigid nature of the formal school system was seen to be a reason for the high dropout rate. In response, the National Institute of Education established the Open School Programme to provide an alternative access to education to those who need a recognized basic qualification in order to further their education and find jobs.
For additional information on the Wenhui Award 2018 winners, Honourable Commendations as well as all short-listed entries, please click here.
Photo credits: Larm Rmah, J. Aligaen, Ban Nai Soi Community Learning Centre