Celebrating excellence in education for people with disabilities
May 26, 2014
Two organisations have been recognised today for their achievements in inclusive education. The Armenian NGO Bridge of Hope and the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development of the Government of New Brunswick (Canada) were awarded the UNESCO/Emir Jaber al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah Prize to Promote Quality Education for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities. The award ceremony took place in Kuwait in the presence of H.E. the Minister of Education from Kuwait, H.E. Mr Hao Ping, President of the 37th session of the General Conference of UNESCO and Vice-Minister of Education of the People’s Republic of China and H.E and H.E. Mr Mohamed S. Amr, Chairperson of the Executive Board of UNESCO, Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of the Arab Republic of Egypt to UNESCO. Established in 2002, the UNESCO/Emir Jaber al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah Prize recognizes the outstanding activities of individuals, groups, organizations or centres that promote quality education for persons with intellectual disabilities. The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, announced the laureates of the 2013 edition during Education for All Global Action Week (4-10 May), celebrated under the theme of “Equal Right, Equal Opportunity: Education and Disability.” The two laureates have been rewarded for their inclusive education programmes that have had a significant impact on the lives of individuals with intellectual disabilities and their families. Bridge of Hope was recognised for its programme entitled ‘Towards Education for All: Inclusive Education’, which promotes human rights, social and educational inclusion of children and youth with disabilities. By engaging with key participants including government ministries, international agencies, families, communities, schools, and early childhood settings, the organization has contributed to significant country-wide improvements in inclusive education. The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development of the Canadian Provincial Government of New Brunswick recognized for its long-standing commitment to a systemic approach to inclusive education for learners with disabilities and for its vision of education as a catalyst for social justice and equity. Its programme ‘A model for inclusion in New Brunswick’s public education system’ constitutes an outstanding example of mentoring and professional learning for inclusive education, and a model of excellence in a public education system that has inspired other countries. Each winner will receive prize money of USD $20,000, generously funded by the Government of Kuwait. About the 2013 UNESCO/Emir Jaber al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah Prize For the 2013 edition, 54 applications were submitted to the Secretariat, compared to 23 applications in 2011, marking the highest number of submissions ever received for this Prize. Of the 54 applications, 44 were supported by Governments of Member States, in consultation with the respective UNESCO National Commissions and/or Permanent Delegations, and the remaining 10 were supported by NGOs in official partnership with UNESCO. An international jury met and examined the applications, and their selection was submitted to UNESCO’s Director General for approval. The Prize is awarded every 2 years at an official ceremony either at UNESCO Headquarters or in Kuwait.