A South African education project has been recognised with an international award for the great work it is doing to improve the capacity in school leadership.
The project, Partners for Possibility (PfP), is this year’s winner of the prestigious WISE Awards given yearly by the World Innovation for Education, an initiative of the Qatar Foundation, which is based in Qatar.
PfP is the flagship programme of Symphonia for South Africa (SSA), that runs a programme aimed at improving the quality of education by capacitating school principals in under-resourced schools and building their leadership skills through partnerships with business leaders.
The partners participate in a 12-month leadership development program, while together tackling challenges in schools. A total of 1 630 school principals and business leaders had benefited from the initiative while 625 000 school children had been impacted by the programme.
Among pressing educational issues tackled by the 2018 WISE Awards winners included girls’ education, early childhood education, the refugee crisis, cultural exchange, citizenship values, youth employment, entrepreneurship in disadvantaged communities, deaf education, and stimulating critical and creative thinking.
The Awards winning projects are evaluated according to strict criteria. They must be established, innovative educational projects that have already demonstrated a transformative impact on the individuals, communities, and society of their context. They also need to be financially stable, have a clear development plan, and be scalable and replicable.
The South African winners were flanked by five other 2018 WISE Awards winners such as Safe Spaces Clubs for Girls (Nigeria), One Village One Pre-School (China), Generation (USA), Technology-Based Deaf Education (Pakistan) and 1001 Nights Life Skills and Citizenship Education Program (Canada). Each of the winners received $20,000 (more than R265 000) and the projects would be celebrated on 22 September at WISE’s New York, USA.
Stavros N. Yiannouka, CEO of WISE, congratulated the winners that were selected from the 413 applications received for the WISE Awards program. “The rigorous selection process has succeeded in finding six excellent and innovative projects addressing a diverse mix of educational challenges from around the world. This demonstrates that there are existing global organizations and individuals who share our passion for tackling education challenges with innovative solutions. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our Awards jury members who did a thorough job in evaluating the projects, ” Yiannouka said.
Partners for Possibility programme, founder, Dr Louise van Rhyn is proud of what the programme has achieved. “To be recognized as the winner of the 2018 WISE Awards is a very special achievement. It means that the Partners for Possibility (PfP) programme meets the criteria of being a creative solution to a pressing educational challenge, that is, reducing the inequalities in the South African education system,” she said
Van Rhyn added: “We are humbled to have a global platform to share the insights and solutions of the programme, as well as the opportunity to shed light on how its innovations can be applied to other industries and countries. Beyond this, we look forward to continued networking with the other global nominees who share our passion for quality education for all children.”