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Results from the Wenhui Award for Educational Innovation 2010 released

The Wenhui Award for Educational Innovation was launched in May 2010. The name ‘Wenhui’ personifies the power of education in promoting learning and allowing individuals and cultures to innovate and grow.

The Award is solidly grounded on the 1924 Geneva Declaration of the Rights of the Child, emphasizing our responsibility to ensure that children can develop materially, spiritually, physically, mentally, morally and aesthetically.

To meet this goal, the Wenhui Award specifically aims 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.

The Award is conferred on two individuals or institutions from Asia and the Pacific in recognition of their commitment and outstanding efforts in the development of educational innovations based on the following criteria:

  • Uniqueness and originality of the innovation

  • Timeliness and relevance of the innovation

  • Success and impact of the innovation

  • Sustainability of the innovation

  • Potential for replication of the innovation

  • Innovative use of available resources

  • Quality of the supporting evidence

In line with the theme of the 2010 Wenhui Award, Reaching the Marginalized in Basic Education, the Jury prioritized projects that have successfully promoted a respect for diversity and inclusiveness. The Jury also sought projects that have demonstrated innovative uses of communication tools to integrate marginalized groups and connect them to the globalized world. Finally, the Jury valued projects that can be replicated and sustained – locally or across borders.

Using these guidelines, the Jury selected two winners for the 2010 Wenhui Award and three recipients for Honourable Commendation.

Winners of the 2010 Wenhui Award

  • Khmer Braille and Khmer Sign Language Creation of the Krousar Thmey Foundation in Cambodia

  • Xin Yu Project of the Beijing Foreign Studies University in China

Recipients of Honourable Commendation for the 2010 Wenhui Award

  • The Benchmarked Rural Smart School Programme of the Multimedia Development Corporation in Malaysia

  • Improving Education amongst Underprivileged Communities in Urban Poverty Zones of Western Uttar Pradesh of the Grassroots India Trust in India

  • Hole-in-the-Wall Education of the Hole-in-the-Wall Ltd. in India

The winners were invited to receive the Wenhui Award at the 8th China Hangzhou International Conference on Educational Innovations on 7-9 November 2010 in Hangzhou, China.

Winners of the 2010 Wenhui Award

Khmer Braille and Khmer Sign Language Creation Project of the Krousar Thmey Foundation in Cambodia

The Khmer Braille and Khmer Sign Language Creation Project of the Krousar Thmey Foundation was awarded the 2010 Wenhui Award for increasing educational opportunities for people with disabilities in Cambodia.

The conception of Khmer Braille and Sign Language is a significant development particularly since Khmer is a minor language group, garnering little interest in developing Braille and Sign Language to be used by people with visual and hearing impairments. These tools are necessary and effective to enable a marginalized section of the Khmer people to firstly receive an education within their national system and secondly to increase their engagement with local and global communities.

By facilitating integration and inclusiveness, this initiative is highly relevant, unique and sustainable. It is expected that the ground breaking innovation will continue to benefit people with disabilities who communicate in Khmer for years to come.

Xin Yu Project of the Beijing Foreign Studies University in China

The Xin Yu Project from the Beijing Foreign Studies University was awarded the 2010 Wenhui Award for its contribution in enhancing the development and delivery of education to the underprivileged in rural and remote communities in China.

Students in these areas are sidelined by many factors, among which is the shortage of funding, competent teachers and educational resources. They are isolated and uninformed about life beyond the boundaries of their communities.

Highlighting the importance of language in facilitating communication and therefore promoting inclusiveness locally and globally, the Xin Yu Project provides educational aid plans, teacher training programmes and volunteer teachers to reach the unreached.

By helping to bridge the gap between marginalized communities and the outside world, the project has demonstrated the importance of university engagement with communities, setting an excellent example for using languages and intercultural communication to engage the marginalized and enable them to be members of the globalized community.

Recipients of Honourable Commendation for the 2010 Wenhui Award

The Benchmarked Rural Smart School Programme of the Multimedia Development Corporation in Malaysia

The Benchmarked Rural Smart School Programme’s effort in pushing the information technology (IT) frontier and bridging the digital divide is praiseworthy.

By focusing on best practices in technology-enabled teaching, learning and school management, the project emphasizes the need for a new generation of teachers and school administrators who are IT literate and committed in reaching disadvantaged students through innovative tools and technologies. Other notable features of the project include the multiplier effect – a tiered approach for clustering and mentoring schools – and the buddy system that matches benchmarked schools with rural schools. The collaboration between the Ministry of Education and the Multimedia Development Corporation in this project provides a useful public-private partnership model that may be conveniently e used by other countries at similar levels of development

Improving Education amongst Underprivileged Communities in Urban Poverty Zones of Western Uttar Pradesh of the Grassroots India Trust in India

The Grassroots India Trust’s project on Improving Education amongst Underprivileged Communities in Urban Poverty Zones of Western Uttar Pradesh to provide educational opportunities to girls in disadvantaged urban communities is laudable.

The integrated and holistic approach to education by involving key stakeholders and communities, utilizing locally available materials, resources and skills has yielded impressive results, notably in increasing access to education; enhancing the capacity of teachers and education officers; and changing the attitudes and behaviours of the minority families in recognizing the importance of education for girls.

Hole-in-the-Wall Education of Hole-in-the-Wall Ltd. in India

The Hole-in-the-Wall (HiWEL) Project is commendable for its innovative and cost effective approach in using technology to empower disadvantaged groups through the provision of free and unrestricted computer access to children and community members in open unsupervised settings.

The HiWEL Learning Stations have become windows to education and information for the underserved constituencies – urban poor and remote rural populations, ethnic minorities, juvenile home detainees and children with special needs. The informal and unstructured environment has helped to increase their computer literacy and promoted their creativity, self-discovery and self-confidence.


Tao Xiping

Mr. Tao Xiping holds many positions and in many capacities, including the Adviser to the National Chief Inspector, Honorary President of Beijing Association of Societal Circles, President of Chinese Association for Non-government Education, Vice President of the Chinese Society of Education, Honorary President of Asian Pacific Federation of UNESCO Clubs and Association, Vice President of the World Federation of UNESCO Clubs, Centers and Associations.

He was also the Director and Chief Secretary of the Party of Beijing Education Bureau, Assistant Mayor of Beijing Municipal Government, Vice Director of the Standing Committee of the People’s Congress of Beijing Municipality, and a member of the ESCH Committee of the National People’s Congress.

Colin Power

Professor Colin Power was the Assistant Director-General for Education of UNESCO from 1989 to 1998 and Deputy Director-General of UNESCO from 1999 to 2000, the most senior posts in UNESCO held by an Australian during this period since its establishment in 1946. Professor Power is currently an Adjunct Professor at the University of Queensland and Professor emeritus of Flinders University of South Australia. He has authored and co-authored many books and publications on education, science, culture and development. As the Chair of the Commonwealth Consortium for Education, foundation Editor-in-Chief of the Educational Research for Policy and Practice, President of World Education Fellowship (Australia) and foundation Chair and Director of the EIDOS Institute – a research and policy consortium of nine Australian universities, Professor Power continues to contribute to efforts to improve the quality of education, promote education for all and ensure that research informs social policy and practice.

Ibrahim Ahmad Bajunid

Professor Datuk Dr. Ibrahim Ahmad Bajunid is the Deputy President/Deputy Vice Chancellor of INTI-UC Laureate International Universities and Professor of Management, Education and the Social Sciences. Dr. Ibrahim was the first Director of UNESCO-Regional Center for Educational Planning at Al Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. For more than two and a half decades, he has been a key figure in the field of educational management and leadership in Malaysia. He is a prolific writer as well as an editor and editorial advisor for several educational journals, locally and internationally. Dr. Ibrahim exercises many leadership roles and has provided services as a consultant in policy-making governmental committees, private sector and non-government organizations. He is the National Advisor/Consultant for Asia-Europe Initiative on Lifelong Learning in Malaysia and is currently engaged in several research project, apart from supervising Masters and Doctoral scholars. He has been involved in the National Accreditation Board and Malaysian Qualifications Agency processes both as practitioner and as a member of the wider policy making community.

Ved Prakash

Professor Ved Prakash is currently the Chairman of the University Grants Commission in India after serving as the Vice Chancellor of the National University of Educational Planning and Administration, Director of the National Institute of Educational and Administration, Chairperson of the National Council for Teacher Education, Secretary of the University Grants Commission, Adviser Education of the Planning Commission, Government of India, Professor and Head of the Department of Educational Measurement and Evaluation. He is author and co-author of numerous publications devoted to higher education, school education, educational planning, evaluation and appraisal of students’ achievements. Professor Prakash was conferred the Vidyalankara Award in 2008 and the Educationist Par Excellence Award in 2010 in India.

Zheng Xinrong

Professor Zheng Xinrong is the Dean of College of Educational Basic Theory and the Director of the Multicultural Education Research Center in Beijing Normal University. She was a consultant for several projects sponsored by international organizations such as UNICEF, UNDP, Department for International Development-UK (DFID), including the Needs Analysis of Teacher in Using Distance Education and ICT to improve teacher quality in poor areas of Western China Project, Functional Literacy Training for WFP Qinling Mountain Area Poverty Alleviation Project in Shaanxi/Hubei Provinces, UNESCO Education for All 2000 Assessment Project, and the UNESCO/OECD World Education Indicator Project. Through Professor Zheng’s research work, several of which were funded by local and international foundations such as the Ford Foundation and World Bank, she has authored and co-authored many publications.

Meng Hongwei (Alternative Member)

Dr. Meng Hongwei is the Vice-President of Cultural an Educational Commission of the Central Committee of China Democracy League. He was also a member of the Governing Board of UNESCO Institute for Statistics representing the Asia and Pacific region. As an expert in Educational Evaluation as well as Education and Psychology, he has undertaken several national and international consulting assignments in projects such as the European Union’s China Gansu Basic Education, and the ADB-China project on Improving Basic Education in Underdeveloped Areas through ICT. He was a team leader of many projects including the Drafting Committee of China’s National EFA Action Plan, and the Assessment and Evaluation Project for the European Union-China Higher Education Cooperation Programme.

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.

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.