WISE publications aim to further the WISE initiativeâ€™s commitment to inspire, support and spread innovative thinking and best practices in education. A team from the UK-based Innovation Unit and award-winning photographer Reza Deghati have been commissioned to work on the 2012 WISE Book to highlight the relationship between education and the workforce.
Created by WISE on 01/06/2012
Last updated: 09/07/12 at 18:55
Tags: education qatar innovation
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Sarah Gillinson from the Innovation Unit attended the 4th Annual annual Widows Alliance Network conference in Accra in Ghana, along with 2000 widows. The Widows Alliance Network is a WISE Awards winning project. The 2012 WISE Book team sat amongst crowds of women aged 20-95, all of whom had lost their husbands, been made to believe it was their fault â€“ and that they had no right to a life. Sarah stood with every other woman there to dance and wave at Mama Zimbi, WANEâ€™s founder, and to celebrate every widowâ€™s value. At the conference, a cultural troupe adapted a traditional song as a tribute to Mama Zimbi and all she is doing for widows in Ghana. Esther â€“ a widow from Accra â€“ who happened to speak perfect English kindly acted as the WISE Book team's translator for the day. Sarah says she was delighted to observe the smiles and laughter of all the widows sharing this day of celebration and self belief
Leonie Shanks from the Innovation Unit and award-winning photograpger Reza visited La Bastilla Technical Agricultural College in Nicaragua It is based on a large coffee estate and was set up in 2008 by the managers of the coffee estate, both because they wanted to help the local community to lift itself out of poverty through providing high quality education, and also because they recognized that the local area was lacking the kind of highly skilled workers that they would need in order to build a profitable business. In 2009 the school became a Teach a Man to Fish-accredited school, meaning that is using enterprise to become financially self-sufficient. "Iâ€™m excited by the self-sustaining model of education, which I feel has real potential for schools in some of the worldâ€™s poorest areas while at the same time serving as a highly effective learning model", says Leonie Shanks.
The students help to run small businesses, including egg production, pork production, coffee cultivation, and the running of an Ecolodge for tourists, while gaining valuable practical and entrepreneurial skills. Leonie's time at the school included an informative tour of the school and coffee estate, conducted by one of the students. She stayed in the Ecolodge, where she was served delicious meals prepared by the students using fresh produce from the school businesses.
Photo: Reza seen taking pictures at La Bastilla Cofee Farm and College
Sarah Gillinson from the Innovation Unit visited Nigeria to meet with WISE Awards winner â€˜Smallholders rural radioâ€™ and its listeners in Obitti, near Owerri, Nigeria. Listeners are 80% women â€“ they do most of the work on small farms. Farmers told Sarah that â€˜before (Smallholders rural radio) there was darknessâ€¦now there is light!â€™ The 2012 WISE Book team also met with students at Isu girls secondary school where the Future Farmers programme has helped them start a small poultry farm. They sell each crate of eggs for 750Naira ($5). Boys and girls at a mixed secondary school told the WISE Book team that it was good to have co-education because the boys are good at cutting the bushâ€¦and girls are best at everything else!
Sarah says she ate the spiciest food she has ever tasted â€“ grilled catfish â€“ under a thatched roof in the middle of monsoon rain.
Reza visited the The International Institute of Water and Environmental Engineering (2iE) in Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso. 2ie is an international hub of bright, motivated students, from 34 different nations, working together to contribute to Africa's development.
Leonie Shanks from the Innovation Unit team visited the Lumiar school in Sao Paolo. This school was the first to be set up in 2002 by the SEMCO Foundation (now the Ricardo-Semler Foundation), which is the charitable arm of the Brazilian company SEMCO. There are now 3 Lumiar schools in Brazil â€“ 2 private and 1 public. It is a highly innovative school for children aged 0-14 â€“ learning is entirely project-based and child-led. There are no teachers, but rather full-time â€˜tutorsâ€™ â€“ who are responsible for the pastoral support of the child â€“ and part-time â€˜mastersâ€™, experts from the community who design and teach projects according to their own interests and passions, in genuine collaboration with the students. One of the highlights of Leonie's visit was the time spent sitting in on â€˜The Circleâ€™, a central pillar of the schoolâ€™s democratic philosophy. This is a forum where teachers and students gather together each week to discuss issues at the school and decide together on appropriate actions to take. Students of all ages are encouraged to participate and The Circle votes on decisions.
Sarah Gillinson from the 2012 WISE Book team visited BRAC in Dhaka. BRAC is one of the largest non-government providers of education in the world, contributing directly to the pre-primary, primary and secondary education of more than 10 million young people. During a trip to Dhaka, Sarah visited the Manoshi project in an urban slum in Dhaka where she met a group of first time mothers learning about safe perinatal care â€“ and getting access to a clean, safe birthing centre. She also sat with a class of BRAC primary school children in an urban slum and learnt about why they love their school â€“ and what they want to do when they grow up. â€˜Doctorâ€™, â€˜engineerâ€™, â€˜teacherâ€™, â€˜journalistâ€™, â€˜pilotâ€™. Sarah ate traditional Bangladeshi street food, â€˜foochkaâ€™, and was blown away. "Delicious!", she says.
Leonie Shanks from the 2012 WISE Book team visited Silver Human Resource Centres in Japan. Silver Human Resource Centre is a nation-wide network of government-subsidized centres which provide retirees aged 60 and over with community-based, part time work on a flexible basis. The first SHRC was set up in 1974, and there is now a centre in every town in Japan. They have 800,000 registered members, with the average age of an SHRC member being 72.
The centres were originally conceived of as being part of a â€˜social movementâ€™ which would strengthen communities across Japan. Work opportunities are designed to enable elderly people to develop four key skills: independence, autonomy, reciprocity, and collaboration. Members often work in teams and do jobs intended to benefit their local areas, such as litter picking, basic office work, child care, and running classes about Japanese culture, such as cooking classes or flower arrangement. Work opportunities are carefully tailored to local need. In recent years, the type of work that is available has started to change. As a result, SHRCs are increasingly offering their members the opportunity to take classes which will â€˜reskillâ€™ them in areas such as IT or translation work.
During her trip to Japan, Leonie was â€˜hostedâ€™ by Tatsuta Sensei, a Senior Researcher at the Institute for Lifelong Learning in Tokyo. Read more about Leonie Shank's visit on her blog
Leonie Shanks from Ms. Valerie Hannon's team visited the South University of Science and Technology, Shenzhen in China.
According to Leonie Shanks, Shenzhen is a fascinating part of China. Established as Chinaâ€™s first â€˜free economic zoneâ€™ in 1979 and widely credited as the area of China which has catapulted China towards prosperity. Thirty years ago it was a fishing village â€“ now it has a population of more than 14 million people.
The university was launched in March 2011, before it was made â€˜legalâ€™ by the Ministry of Education â€“ and has thus been the focus of much media hype in China. "On the whole, the Chinese people are supportive of the â€˜experiment.â€™ They see it as a symbol of hope. They want a new higher education system, to meet the needs of Shenzhen, China and the wider world," says Leonie Shanks. Find out more about her experience on her blog.
2012 WISE Book team member Sarah Gillinson visited the Global Education Centre in the Indian city of Mysore. At the Indian tech giant Infosys â€˜corporate universityâ€™, she met with a spectrum of â€˜Infociansâ€™ including Global Education Centre,head, HR professionals, teachers and trainees. Sarah toured the campus that features classrooms equipped with world class technology, a swimming pool studded with coconut trees, and a sports complex that includes multiple badminton, squash and tennis courts, and a cricket pitch. Sarah stayed at the luxurious Global Education Campus, in the same style as all 20000 new Infosys trainees annually.
2012 WISE Book author visited Amman this week to observe efforts by the Jordan Career Education Foundation (JCEF) to close the gap between education and work. "JCEF's mission is to reduce unemployment amongst Jordanians, and establish a new generation of confident professional leaders," write Ms.Hannon on her blog.
Award-winning photographer Reza (pictured) visits the Metropolitanâ€¨ Regional Career and Technical Center in Providence (USA) to shoot for the 2012 WISE Book. The Met is a Big Picture Learning school. With a mission to educate and empower youth, MET school's Met Schoolâ€™s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Students cultivates and supports the spirit of innovation by engaging students in a rigorous, hands-on exploration of techniques and professions.
Ms.Valerie Hannon visits the Lothan Young People's Achievement Center (LOTHAN) in Kuwait City, where they have developed a range of programs from internships to leadership development to counteract this culture and build a generation of Kuwaitis who are equipped and eager to take the country forward.
Valerie Hannon (pictured) is visiting Morocco this week where she is spending time with students and business partners from 2011 WISE Awards winner INJAZ Al Maghrib, a not-for-profit organization, which has pioneered an innovative approach focused on school-business partnerships. The mission of School-Business Partnerships is to improve the quality of education by mobilizing and involving businesses and to move them beyond charity or philanthropy towards true engagement. Click on the video to watch the WISE report on this organization. Follow Ms. Hannon's trip to Morocco on her blog.