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Hamdan Foundation and UNESCO honor the winners of the Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum-UNESCO Prize in Paris

Paris, France, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 6 October 2022: Sheikh Rashid bin Hamdan Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Al Maktoum Foundation, honored the winners of “Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum – UNESCO” Prize for Teacher Development in its seventh session. In his speech on this occasion, Sheikh Rashid bin Hamdan Al Maktoum expressed his appreciation to UNESCO, led by its Director-General Audrey Azoulay, and all the officials and employees of this enormous international organization for their great efforts and extensive support for education, culture, and science in numerous nations, areas, and continents, and the assistance it offers for the upkeep of human civilization, the enrichment of cultural diversity, and the development of creativity.

Sheikh Rashid bin Hamdan commended on the strong connections between UNESCO and the UAE under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister, Ruler of Dubai.

In his address to the audience, Sheikh Rashid bin Hamdan Al Maktoum said: “This distinctive relationship indicates the common interest in the importance of cooperation and pushing these efforts forward towards accomplishing their aims. We are certain that teachers are those who enable individuals to realize their ambitions as we celebrate World Teachers’ Day with you today. We honor all of the dedicated educators who have devoted their lives to the noble cause of education.”

 Sheikh Rashid bin Hamdan Al Maktoum congratulated the winners of the Prize as well as the staff members of the Hamdan Foundation and UNESCO, including the arbitrators, administrators, and coordinators as he emphasized that by sustaining our distinguished performance, we will be able to accomplish many of the objectives necessary to create a prosperous system.

Sheikh Rashid bin Hamdan added: “I also take this chance to reconfirm that Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation for Distinguished Academic Performance, which we are celebrating its silver jubilee, is committed to support the organization’s efforts as we announce new support for the Hamdan UNESCO Fund with an additional budget to finance new projects, believing that the transformation in education begins with empowered teachers. I am also pleased to announce that Hamdan Foundation and the International Team of Teachers have partnered to finance the project of publishing a new report about the status of teachers around the world in 2023.”

Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation for Distinguished Academic Performance and UNESCO honored the winners of three innovative projects in the Prize from Benin, Haiti and Lebanon, all of which contributed to improving the performance of teachers and enhancing their role in transforming education in and around their communities. The honoring ceremony coincided with World Teachers’ Day which was held this year under the theme “Transformation in Education Begins with Teachers”.

Dr. Jamal Al Muhairi, Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees and General Secretary of Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation for Distinguished Academic Performance commented: “We are pleased to honor the winners of this prestigious Prize in conjunction with World Teachers’ Day, which comes within the framework of efforts to improve the quality of education and the Foundation’s commitment to raise the standard of education and its mission to support global initiatives aimed at advancing education, with a focus on developing nations and local communities that require assistance in the field of education.”

Dr. Al Muhairi added:” We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Prize winners and to commend the initiatives taken by UNESCO in support of the organization’s “Education 2030” strategy, which aims to improve learning opportunities for everyone, provide societies with high-quality education, and create a society based on knowledge and characterized by noble values and equality.”

This year’s winners, which include three international institutions, were recognized for their efforts as they applied the standards and criteria most effectively, as determined by UNESCO and the Hamdan Foundation.

Graines de Paix, in Benin, won for its programme “Apprendre en paix, Enseigner sans violence” (Learning in Peace, Education without Violence), which provides transformative educational solutions that reduce violence in education and in society. Over 4,500 teachers have been trained, 2,500 parents have been sensitized and more than 250,000 children were reached through the project. Teacher training and student activities focus on how to prevent all forms of violence, prevent radicalization, and foster wellbeing, a culture of peace, security, equity, and inclusion. Teachers learn how to move on from violent punitive authoritarian postures to positive postures that empower all students.

The American University of Beirut was granted the Award for its “TAMAM Project for School-Based Educational Reform”, a research-based programme where university researchers work closely with educational practitioners to generate strategies that are grounded in the sociocultural contexts of the Arab region. At the core of TAMAM’s reform model are leadership capacity building programmes that view educators as leaders of change, strengthening their agency. In addition, teachers are offered platforms to network, learn and innovate with educators from other schools. TAMAM has been expanded to multiple countries: it covers 70 schools in 9 countries across the region (Lebanon, Jordan, Oman, Egypt, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Palestine, and Kuwait). Over the past 15 years, 100 improvement projects have been initiated at the local level. The project has benefited 1,000 educational practitioners as direct beneficiaries.

P4H Global of Haiti was recognized for its project “Training Teachers to Transform Haiti”, an innovative programme dedicated to improving the quality of education in Haiti through the training not only of teachers but also school directors, parents, and community members. The project is based on a cycle that begins with a diagnosis of schools, trainings, distance coaching, and class observation. Its goal is for teachers to avoid corporal punishment and transform their teaching methods into effective, student-centred strategies that cultivate critical thinking, collaboration, and creativity inside the classroom. Since 2011, the 3-year intensive programme has benefited 8,000 educators and 350,000 students in all ten Haiti’s departments. 70% of the trainings are provided to schools in rural settings due to the lack of support and resources in those areas.

It is noteworthy that Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum-UNESCO Award for Teacher Development was first launched in 2008 with the support of the late Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum (may God rest his soul). Its goal is to support and encourage all candidates that have outstanding contributions in enhancing the efficiency and performance of teachers around the world, which is in line with the principles and goals of UNESCO.

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