Inaugural WISE Prize for Education goes to Bangladeshi Fazle Hasan Abed

Education underpins development for 138 million poor

"I am guided by an ideal of a world free from all forms of exploitation and discrimination. Education is the answer to this quest." Fazle Hasan Abed, founder of BRAC

DOHA, Qatar, Nov. 1, 2011 /CNW Telbec/ - A few hours ago, Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, founder of BRAC, has been awarded the first WISE Prize for Education in recognition of his 40-year career dedicated to alleviating poverty through education.

A specially designed gold medal, bearing the word "education" in over 50 languages, was presented to Abed by His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Amir of the State of Qatar, before 1,300 delegates at the opening session of the third World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) in Doha. In addition, the Laureate receives an award of $500,000 (US).

Abed founded BRAC in 1972, formerly known as Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee. BRAC is also 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 students. It concentrates on bringing education to children and young people who are not reached by the traditional education system.

WISE Chairman H.E. Dr. Abdulla bin Ali Al-Thani said: "Fazle Hasan Abed's life and career embody the values of WISE. He recognized that education is a passport to social inclusion and opportunity. He discovered a successful formula, and he adapted and expanded it - first in Bangladesh and then in other countries. As a direct consequence, millions of people around the world lead healthier, happier and more productive lives. His vision, resourcefulness and determination are vital ingredients of the innovation process and he stands as an example to all of us who believe that education, more than anything else, determines the destiny of individuals and societies. The Jury saw him as an ideal WISE Prize Laureate."

In acceptance remarks, Fazle Hasan Abed said: "I should like to thank the Qatar Foundation for instituting this magnificent WISE Prize and for honoring me and BRAC with its first installment. I have discovered time and again in my four decades of work with BRAC that education is the fundamental catalyst for change."

The establishment of the WISE Prize was announced at the closing of the last WISE Summit in December 2010 as a major accolade to recognize an individual or team for an outstanding, world-class contribution to education.

To learn more about the members of the WISE Prize 2011 Jury.

To learn more about Sir Fazle Hasan Abed and BRAC visit:

About the World Innovation Summit for Education - WISE
WISE is dedicated to building the future of education through innovation. This global collaborative initiative was inaugurated in 2009 by the Qatar Foundation, under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser. Its mission is to address the challenges facing 21st century education, to expand dialogue around the world and to implement practical and sustainable solutions. With this purpose, WISE holds an annual international summit that provides a unique platform and meeting place for thought leaders and experts to share best practices about education. WISE is also a year-round initiative devoted to reaching outside the traditional circles of the education community to promote innovation and implement concrete actions. The WISE 2011 Summit will take place in Doha, Qatar, 1-3 November 2011. Full details on the WISE website:

SOURCE World Innovation Summit for Education - WISE

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