H H Sheikha Moza bint Nasser delivering the opening address at WISE 2013 on ‘Reinventing Education for Life’ at Qatar National Convention Centre. AR Al-Baker
BY RAYNALD C RIVERA
DOHA: H H Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, stressed the importance of education in life and the need for innovation in education to meet the most pressing challenges of modern life.
She was addressing over 1,200 delegates from more than 100 countries at the opening session of the fifth World Innovation Summit for Education (2013 WISE Summit) yesterday at Qatar National Convention Centre.
Emphasising the role of education in human life, she said: “Education should pave the way to respond to emerging challenges in life,” and keep pace with the requirements of the fast developing world.
“We should bring all our efforts towards innovative solutions to education. When we innovate in education, we innovate in all aspects of life,” she told the attendees at the three-day summit under the theme ‘Reinventing Education for Life’.
On this year’s theme, Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali Al Thani, Chairman of WISE, said: “The theme was chosen to close the growing gap between the learning we have and the learning we need.”
He also called to “bring learning to life so it is relevant both to individual lives and societal concerns, this way we can overcome our shared challenges and bring life to learning so that education is a means for people to learn in all stages of life.
“This WISE 2013 and the months and years ahead we will continue our quest to make education relevant to life.
“In the past five years, WISE has gained momentum as a conference of global significance. But we are also aware that much is still to be done.”
He outlined how WISE has grown beyond the annual summit through various programmes that reflect commitment to foster innovation in various ways, which include the Educate A Child initiative launched by H H Sheikha Moza last year, the WISE Awards which recognise the best practices in education, WISE Learners’ Voice programme, WISE books and the WISE Prize for Education.
He then announced the winner of the 2013 WISE Prize for Education who was Vicky Colbert, Founder and Director of Fundaciَn Escuela Nueva and co-creator of the Escuela Nueva education model, widely known for its effectiveness in improving the quality and relevance of basic education in underprivileged schools across Colombia and beyond. The prize was presented by H H Sheikha Moza. It was established in 2011 to enhance the status of education by giving it similar prestige to other areas for which international prizes exist, such as literature, peace and economics. The laureate receives an award of $500,000 and a specially minted gold medal.
“Vicky Colbert has dedicated her life to revitalising education through effective and relevant student-centred pedagogical methods that involve families and entire communities as well as teachers in the process. Her work has had a significant impact in Latin America and beyond, greatly expanding access to affordable quality education for the less-privileged,” said Sheikh Abdulla.
Colbert said: “I am very honoured and humbled to receive the prize. It recognises that bringing education to all children and empowering them for lifelong learning is an important foundation for human development, and it is something that can be achieved when teachers and children are given the right tools to lead change.”
In a separate session, prominent sociologist and philosopher, Dr Edgar Morin, discussed the necessity for students to learn life skills and not just master subjects. “It is important for teachers to let learners understand what knowledge is about, not just impart knowledge,” he said. He underscored the importance of seeing the bigger and complex picture, teaching learners how to navigate a world of uncertainties and mistakes to find truth. The Peninsula