DOHA, Qatar, Nov. 13, 2012 /CNW/ - Madhav Chavan, an innovator of low-cost mass literacy and numeracy, has
been awarded the world's major prize for education.
"Just like you need air, just like you need water, just like you need
food, you need education." Dr. Madhav Chavan
This year's WISE Prize for Education has been awarded to Dr. Madhav
Chavan, a former chemistry lecturer who devised a simple formula to
bring education and literacy to millions at minimum cost.
The Laureate of the 2012 WISE Prize for Education was announced at the
opening plenary session of the fourth World Innovation Summit for
Education (WISE) in Doha, Qatar, before more than 1,200 innovators from
over 100 countries, including figures from the worlds of social
enterprise, business, government, media and education.
After completing a Ph.D. in the USA, Chavan returned to India in 1986 to
teach Chemistry at the University of Mumbai. He was struck by the
plight of the city's poor, and he applied his scientific training to
create a solution of beautiful simplicity.
Chavan saw that education was the main barrier to India's development
and that action was required that would bring rapid results. Leveraging
the power of collaboration from the outset, he joined forces with
UNICEF and the city government to ensure "every child in school and
Using his passion for social justice as a catalyst, he launched a
mission to create large-scale impact at low cost. The reaction produced
by combining the primary elements of government infrastructure,
corporate resources and citizen volunteerism had striking results in
bringing literacy to Mumbai's slum children. Futhermore, the formula
easily passed the scientific tests of scalability and replicability and
spread rapidly across the country.
Today the mission has expanded to 17 of India's 28 states and Pratham,
the NGO of which Chavan is co-founder and CEO, is the largest
non-governmental provider of basic literacy and numeracy for
underprivileged children in India. Its programs now address pre-school
education, learning support to both in-school and out-of-school
children, computer literacy, vocational training and special programs
for vulnerable and working children.
Independent studies have shown that children who have attended Pratham's
programs are much more likely to learn effectively in primary school
than other children in their age group, and that they perform more
highly than their classmates.
Chavan's scientific method includes monitoring and evaluation. Thanks to
a nationwide voluntary effort, Pratham's Annual Status of Education
Report (ASER) measures quantitative and qualitative parameters
including enrolment, facilities and learning outcomes. The model has
now been replicated in a number of countries in Asia and Africa.
The WISE Prize for Education was established in 2010 as the world's
premier recognition of an outstanding, world-class contribution to
education by an individual or team. The Laureate receives an award of
$500,000 (US) and a specially minted gold medal.
SOURCE: World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE)
For further information:
Media Contact: Adeline Deliau