CLIx Wins UNESCO King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa Prize for the use of ICT in Education (07.03.18)

 The CLIx Team has been working hard from the inception of the initiative on 2 February 2015. When we look back, we can take satisfaction in the thought that we did achieve something inspite of the hiccups and hurdles. This was confirmed when CLIx was awarded the UNESCO King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa ICT in Education Prize.The award ceremony was held at the UNESCO headquarters at Paris on 7 March 2018. From CLIx India, Padma, Ajay, Omkar and Shubhangi attended, along with Vijay Kumar and Brandon Muramatsu of MIT.

Prof. Padma addressing the audience at the UNESCO award ceremony                                            Photo credits: © UNESCO/Luis Abad-banda

This prize evaluates programmes on many criterion, as shown by the information required on the application for the prize: the vision and objectives of the project, its outreach and scalability, programme delivery, ICT infrastructure requirement and use of existing ICT infrastructure, strategies to assure the quality of learning outcomes, development of learning resources and use and release of digital content as OER, development process for digital content, certification provided for the content delivered, monitoring and evaluation of programme, sustainability of the programme, stakeholder engagement and the ‘innovative features’ of the programme.

GENIE, the other winner, is a large-scale ICT education initiative by Morocco’s Ministry of National Education and Vocational Training that aims to improve quality in primary and secondary schools.Launched in 2005, GENIE has provided ICT infrastructure, digital devices and internet connectivity to more than 10,000 schools. It has promoted pedagogical innovations by providing more than 300,000 teachers and school administrators across the country with in-service training.

A Laureates’ Seminar was organised where opening remarks were given by Dr Majed Bin Ali Al-Noaimi, Minister of Education of the Kingdom of Bahrain and Ms Amna AI Sulaity, Director of Public Schools of Bahrain. The speeches were followed by presentations of the two prize-winning projects. Prof Padma Sarangapani of TISS and Dr Vijay Kumar of MIT presented the CLIx project. The presentation was much appreciated. Many country representatives expressed the desire to collaborate with CLIx for replication of its offerings in their respective countries. Mme IIham Laaziz, Program Director, presented GENIE.

The CLIx exhibition

There was an exhibition and display for a larger audience of both the winning programmes and a few other interesting programmes that had been shortlisted for the prize. People tried their hands on our digital content. However, the biggest hit amongst participants was kaju katli that we had taken along to give a taste of India to the World.

UNESCO Award and Medal

The award ceremony started at noon with opening remarks from Ms Audrey Azoulay, Director General, UNESCO and Dr Majed bin Ali AI-Noaimi, Minister of Education of the Kingdom of Bahrain. An outstanding orchestra performance was given by students of Bahrain. Awards were presented by Jawad bin Salem AI Arrayed, Deputy Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain. Prof Sarangapani and Dr Vijay received the award on behalf of the entire CLIx team. We also captured Facebook Live of the entire ceremony for colleagues back in India. Apart from the CLIx India team and the CLIx MIT team, officials of the Permanent Delegation to UNESCO, Government of India, also attended the award ceremony. The CLIx team brought back a medal and a certificate, and the monetary award of USD 25,000 is on its way!

Shubhangi Wankhede, Chief Operating Officer and Omkar Balli, CEI&AR Implementation team co-lead, CLIx