DOHA, Dec 10 -- The 2nd World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE), which was held in Doha, Qatar, from December 7-9, drew to an end Thursday with the announcement of a colossal US$500,000 prize for education launched by the Qatar Foundation.
Following three days of collaborative engagement on the future of education, the global summit was formally concluded by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser Al Missned, chairperson of Qatar Foundation.
Addressing the closing session, Sheikha Moza said, "Through the fruitful discussion and the main concerns raised, in addition to the constructive ideas emerging from various academic, professional, political and cultural backgrounds, I am certain that WISE will lead to opening wide horizons for developing quality education and expanding its reach."
Over three days, the WISE 2010 witnessed a diverse range of innovations, experiences and emerging new ideas from around the world. From funding to curricula, from conflict and reconciliation to new skills, from assessment to improvement of the quality of education, attendees, laureates and speakers came to WISE to advance international dialogue and propose realistic and effective solutions as well as new ideas.
In a live video address to WISE, Professor Jeff Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, described WISE as an extremely crucial and timely forum. He pointed out that "every single one of the Millennium Development Goals has education at the core. Education isn't simply a short stage of life -- it is really about an entire lifetime."
His Excellency Dr Abdulla bin Ali Al-Thani, chairman of WISE, ended proceedings by announcing three major initiatives arising from the Summit. "WISE is, above all, about outcomes," Dr Abudulla said. "And I am pleased that I can announce some important decisions which we intend to enact in the course of the coming year."
The main announcements from WISE 2010 included:
The establishment of the WISE Prize for Education. This annual award will be the world's first major international prize for education. In an effort to raise global awareness of the crucial role of education in all societies, the WISE Prize for Education will reward individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to any field or level of education. Winner of the prize will be awarded at the WISE Summit 2011, who will receive an award of US$500,000.
The launch of a WISE publication and web portal. WISE will create a publication that will, for the first time, record major achievements and initiatives in the world of international education, including those at WISE. This key point of reference for innovations in education will be complemented by an enhanced WISE website that will host more in depth information and provide collaborative fora for discussion. Both should be launched between spring and fall 2011.
Call for the establishment of a taskforce dedicated to education system rebuilding in Haiti. The destruction by the devastating earthquake of Haiti's entire educational system has been a focus of WISE 2010 and has resulted in an appeal for the creation of a taskforce. This taskforce will call for the global community to unite and build a new educational system in Haiti from the ground up. The taskforce will report back with a concrete action plan for education in Haiti.
WISE has also called for an acceleration of best practices and support for innovative ideas in education. More than 40 projects and initiatives have been identified by participants at the Summit as existing and effective means to address 21st century educational challenges.
Dr Abdulla bin Ali Al-Thani also took the opportunity to announce that the third Annual WISE Summit will be held from November 1-3 in Doha, Qatar.