Chilean teacher initiative wins UNESCO-Hamdan Prize

World Teachers Day

PARIS – Three programmes from Chile, Indonesia and the United Kingdom have been awarded the 5th UNESCO–Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Prize for making an outstanding contribution to improving the quality of teaching.

Duabi’s deputy ruler Sheikh Rashid bin Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, presented certificates, prizes and cash awards worth $100,000 each to the three winning programmes, from the Center for Mathematic Modeling of the University of Chile, the Diklat Berjenjang project of Indonesia and the Fast-track Transformational Teacher Training Programme (UK), designed to empower teachers.

The grand award presentation ceremony was part of the World Teachers’ Day celebrations at the UNESCO Headquarters in the French capital.

The Center for Mathematic Modeling of the University of Chile was awarded the Prize for Outstanding Practice and Performance in Enhancing the Effectiveness of Teachers for its Suma y Sigue: Matemtica en lnea (Adding it up: Mathematics online) programme, which was developed to address the performance gaps in mathematics between students from different socioeconomic backgrounds and improving the quality of mathematics teaching in general.

As many as 1,400 teachers participated in the initiative and designed courses using innovative technologies and examples from the real world. Its methodology is based on interactive resources specially designed to promote inquiry, visualization, modeling, problem solving and reflection on deep aspects of elementary mathematics and its teaching processes.

It is a “learning by doing” programme organized by grade levels and curricula, enabling teachers to focus on their specialized area of mathematics teaching. It blends face-to-face sessions with intensive virtual instructions. The programme is scalable, easily accessible by teachers in remote areas, and promotes inclusion.

The Diklat Berjenjang project from Indonesia won the award for bringing quality professional development to early childhood teachers, notably in the poorest and most remote areas. It helps meet Indonesia’s needs for teachers skilled in creating stimulating learning environments for young learners. It helps identify potential teacher trainers and provides step-by-step written guides, follow-up assignments and exchanges.

The Fast-track Transformational Teacher Training Programme from the UK was selected for its highly innovative and impactful approach to training teachers in various professional environments in Ghana. It promotes child-centred and play-based pedagogy in early education to replace traditional talk-chalk disciplinarian methods. Practising teachers receive a two-year training, combining workshops with smaller peer group meetings in which they are paired on the basis of their complementary strengths to engage in classroom observations and in-class coaching.

The three winners were selected from 150 nominations submitted by the governments of UNESCO’s member-states and UNESCO partner-organizations on the recommendation of an international jury of educational professionals.

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Established in 2009 with funding from Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, the prize is awarded every two years to projects that have made outstanding contributions to improving the quality of teaching and learning, especially in developing countries or within marginalized or disadvantaged communities.