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Wenhui (文 晖) Award for Educational Innovation 2012

Innovation in Education for Sustainable Development

Our challenge, our generation's unique challenge, is learning to live peacefully and sustainably in an extraordinarily crowded world.

Jeffrey Sachs


**** RESULTS for the 2012 award ****

Education and innovations are universally recognized as the keys to improve productivity and achieve sustainable development. Past and recurring economic, financial, food and energy crises, environmental disasters and ongoing conflicts continue to demand answers for meeting the challenges of the 21st century. It is therefore crucial for governments, industries and international organizations to respond to this demand by promoting and supporting innovations in education.

Recognizing the potential of education and the human innovative spirit to address and resolve such pressing issues and problems, the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Programme of Educational Innovation for Development (APEID) and the National Commission of the People’s Republic of China for UNESCO have jointly established the Wenhui (文 晖) Award for Educational Innovation.

The Wenhui Award embodies two important elements of educational innovation. Wen (文) refers to all facets of civilization and culture, including wisdom, knowledge, moral and ethics, and encompasses the desire for learning and inquiry. Hui (晖) symbolizes the creative and radiant force of education that allows civilization and culture to flourish. Taken together, the Wenhui Award personifies the power of education in promoting learning and allowing individuals and cultures to innovate and grow.

This Award will serve to improve the access to and quality of education and training, especially to those most in need. Given the challenges facing education, it is necessary to strengthen the commitment of individuals and institutions to continuously innovate and enlighten people now and in the future.

For 2012, the theme of the Wenhui Award is Innovation in Education for Sustainable Development. The winners and awardees of Certificates of Merit will be selected by a jury of distinguished educators from the Asia-Pacific region. The results will be announced through a variety of channels to share the achievements of the winners and awardees.

What are the objectives of the Award?

The specific objectives of the Award are to:

  • Value and encourage pioneering innovative practices to improve the access to, quality of, and teaching and learning processes in, education.

  • Recognize the contributions of individuals or institutions which have brought about significant educational innovations to enhance the access to education and improve the quality of teaching and learning processes.

  • Foster indigenous wisdom and ingenuity in educational innovation.

What is in the Award?

The Award shall be conferred on two individuals or institutions in recognition of their commitment and outstanding efforts in the development of educational innovations according to the theme to be announced each year. The two winners will receive a Certificate of Excellence and prize money of US$ 20,000 each at the UNESCO-APEID International Conference and/or China Hangzhou International Conference on Educational Innovations. Certificates of Merit may also be awarded to individuals or institutions that have demonstrated commendable innovative practices.

Who is eligible for the Award?

Individuals or institutions from UNESCO Member States in Asia and the Pacific region that have designed and implemented significant educational innovation leading to improved access to, and quality in, education will be eligible for the Award.

To qualify for nomination for the 2012 Wenhui Award, the candidates shall possess the following qualifications or attributes:

  • Have demonstrated their ability in developing innovative practices that have enhanced educational contents, pedagogies, skills and knowledge of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD).

  • Have verified the positive impact of their innovation in education in bringing about noticeable changes in values, mindsets and practices about sustainable development.

  • Have proven their commitment in enhancing a culture and environment that promote and translate the principles of ESD into actions.

  • Have established that their innovative practices are current and relevant to the educational issues of the 21st century.

What are the evaluation criteria?

The emphasis of the Wenhui Award is on innovations in education, not scientific inventions. In line with the theme of the 2012 Award, Innovation in Education for Sustainable Development, innovations that can demonstrate real changes in values, mindsets, practices and behaviours will be positively assessed. More specifically, the entries will be evaluated according to selected criteria reflecting the including but not limited to the following:

  • Uniqueness and originality of the innovation

  • Timeliness and relevance of the innovation

  • Success and impact of the innovation

  • Quality of the supporting evidence

  • Innovative use of available resources

  • Potential for replication of the innovation

  • Sustainability of the innovation

About the Organizers

The Asia-Pacific Region counts for almost two thirds of the world population. In serving the 46 Member States and 2 Associate Members in the region, UNESCO has to take into account the diversity of the countries in terms of their size, culture, socio-economy status and environment. Supported by a network of a Regional Bureau for Education in Bangkok, a Regional Bureau for Science in Jakarta, five Cluster Offices (Almaty, Apia, Beijing, New Delhi and Tehran), and seven National Offices (Dhaka, Hanoi, Islamabad, Kabul, Kathmandu, Phnom Penh and Tashkent), UNESCO works to promote peace and human development through education, sciences, culture and communication, by facilitating international co-operation, setting common standards and fostering the dissemination of information.

The Asia-Pacific Programme of Educational Innovation for Development (APEID) is a regional inter-country cooperative programme based in the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Education in Bangkok, Thailand. APEID’s mission is to contribute to sustainable human development through the design and implementation of educational programmes and projects, mainly at the post-primary level of education and focusing on educational innovation for development.

The National Commission of the People's Republic of China for UNESCO was established in February 1979. It acts as an agency of consultation, liaison and information, in addition to mobilizing and coordinating partnerships with civil society to contribute to the realization of UNESCO’s objectives and implementation of its programmes.

The China Hangzhou International Conference on Educational Innovations was launched in 2003 in Xiacheng District, Hangzhou, to commemorate the achievements Xiacheng has made in educational innovations. Held every year since then, the Conference has become a formal event of the West Lake Expo, attracting participants from all over the world.