The World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) announced the 12 finalists for the 2021 WISE Awards from nine countries, with projects that are all striving to tackle pressing global educational challenges. WISE is an initiative of Qatar Foundation

The past year has proven the importance of innovation in education – many girls are out of school and women insufficiently empowered; millions of elementary students have poor literacy and numeracy skills; refugees struggle to access education; vulnerable communities don’t have access to necessary social-emotional learning to thrive; while the digital divide remains a learning barrier.

Taleemabad (Pakistan)
Taleemabad (Pakistan)

The 2021 WISE Awards finalists have developed unique solutions to tackle these challenges and make sure that every child reaches their full potential.

According to WISE CEO Stavros N Yiannouka, they continue to navigate the long term and short term effects of the global pandemic on education, as the need for innovation is all the more urgent because of the systemic shortcomings that the crisis has exacerbated around the globe.

The work celebrated by the WISE Awards is critically important. Each of the 2021 finalists has built an effective, tested solution to a global educational challenge.

Whether ensuring parental access to fundamental early childhood education, imparting social-emotional learning skills to children across school districts, or opening access to free knowledge and materials for offline learning, he said that each project is already transforming lives and provides an inspirational model for others to emulate.

As we look forward to recognising this year’s WISE Awards winners, it is imperative that policymakers and civil society leaders around the world seriously address the need to bring some of these innovations to scale.

The 12 finalists for the 2021 WISE Awards

  • Pehchan Project by CULP – Center for Unfolding Learning Potentials (India)
  • Women Entrepreneurship and Skilling by AISECT (India)
  • The Happiness Curriculum by Dream a Dream (India)
  • Creating Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Programs for Children in Indian Public Schools by Labhya Foundation (India)
  • Kinedu (Mexico)
  • Onebillion by Onebillion Children (United Kingdom)
  • Trauma-Informed Schools by Maya Vakfi Foundation (Turkey)
  • Let’s All Learn to Read by Fundacion Luker (Colombia)
  • Kiwix (Switzerland)
  • Taleemabad by Orenda Project (Pakistan)
  • ProFuturo (Spain)
  • Civic Leadership for Education equity by Anseye Pou Ayiti (Haiti)

The submissions were evaluated on strict criteria, based on innovation, scalability, sustainability, and their impact on individuals, communities and societies in their own contexts or globally. Projects also need to be financially stable, have a clear development plan and be scalable and replicable.

The winners of the WISE Awards will be announced in September 2021 and will be celebrated during the WISE Summit on 8-9 December 2021. In addition to visibility and networking opportunities, each project will receive USD20,000.

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