Posted on November 05, 2015

The World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) concluded Thursday afternoon with a full day of sessions, including a special address by the 2015 WISE Prize for Education Laureate, Dr Sakena Yacoobi.

The WISE Prize for Education was established in 2011 by Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), under the leadership of its Chairperson, Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser. It recognises outstanding life-long achievement in any field of education, and it aims to raise global awareness of the crucial role of education in all societies; it is a testament to QF’s commitment to unlocking human potential.  

Dr Yacoobi is the Founder of the Afghan Institute of Learning, which provides education, training, and healthcare services to Afghans, especially women and children. When girls’ schools were closed under the Taliban, she established her own new schools, conducted in secret. For twenty years, she and her organisation have worked to expand access to quality education to the most vulnerable of Afghan society.

During her special address Dr Yacoobi said, “We provide schools, health services and other services - and thousands come to us from university, high school requesting space at our compound. Why? Because they trust us. They discuss democracy, politics, peace, health. They discuss all kinds of topics and they get ideas and critical thinking. That’s the way you transform people: by giving them a free space where they can share ideas, creativity and innovation freely ”

WISE also announced that the submission period for applications and nominations for the 2016 WISE Awards is now open until 1300 GMT, 15th January 2016. Representatives of projects are invited to submit applications to demonstrate the nature and reach of their activities. Nominations of projects are also invited.

Introduced by WISE in 2009, the annual WISE Awards identify, celebrate, and promote innovative projects for their positive contribution to education and society. The Awards highlight initiatives found to be most creative and effective in finding solutions to education challenges at any level and in all environments. In bringing forward these models, WISE is helping build a network of recognised change-makers to inspire change in education. To date, the WISE Awards have recognised 42 projects for their innovative, transformative impact

Past winning projects have addressed a wide range of concerns and pursuits, including access to quality education, life-long learning opportunities, and the use of technology. Representatives of the six winning WISE Awards projects, announced in September, were present at WISE 2015. They presented the work of their winning projects during the Summit.

Applications and nominations for the 2016 WISE Awards can be submitted online on the WISE website page: Both the WISE Prize for Education and the WISE Awards initiatives reflect the best values of WISE in identifying, recognising, and supporting innovation and achievement in education, toward building the future of education through creative partnership.