The Board of Trustees of the Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation for Distinguished Academic Performance chaired by H.E. Hussain bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Minister of Education, announced the results of the 22nd Cycle of the Foundation’s Awards. The Award featured a total of 114 distinguished winners from the education sector, with 95 winning the local competitions and 19 winning the GCC competitions. The winners will be honoured at the end of April 2020 at the closing awards ceremony to be held at the Dubai World Trade Center.
The 22nd cycle of the award, received 420 entries. The entries were evaluated by 53 judging committees during the period between December 2019 and February 2020.The committees comprised six committee chairs for the following categories: Distinguished Student, Distinguished Teacher, Highly Distinguished Teacher, Distinguished School, Distinguished Family, Distinguished Educator, Best Scientific Innovation, Best Implemented Project, and Education Supporting Institutions.
In addition, a preliminary screening committee was formed to qualify the local and GCC entries, and another committee was established to audit and review winning applications.
Dr. Jamal Mohammed Al Mehairi- Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees and Secretary- General of the Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation for Distinguished Academic Performance said, “Through the years, the award has proved its leadership locally and regionally, in supporting the efforts to develop education, raise the bar of the education sector, and honour the distinguished to advance and enhance the education industry in the UAE and other Arab countries. With the support of the leadership and the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai – Minister of Finance, the award continues its pursuit to establish innovation as a key pillar for a robust national foundation that will define a bright future for the coming generations."
H.E. added: "The award plays a pivotal role in boosting the governments’ efforts in developing the elementary and university education, in addition to scientific research, as well as supporting national institutions through pioneering educational international initiatives. We pledge to continue on the steps of our wise leadership to improve education and lead by example in the field of investing in human.”
Dr. Sulaiman Al Ansari, CEO of the Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation for Distinguished Academic Performance stressed that the 22nd cycle of the award was exceptional and showed quality progress in entries, which reflects its significance of in the UAE, GCC and the Arab world. Since its establishment two decades ago, the award has been a stepping stone to advance all the elements of the educational system.
Al Ansari said: "Through the years, Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation for Distinguished Academic Performance has witnessed several developments at all fronts including opening the door for participation, presentation and judgement, and has also expanded its footprint with participation from a number of international organizations concerned with education, foremost of which is The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). In the current cycle, the award witnessed distinguished contributions and we are confident that it will be a great addition to the education system in the Arab world and a new start towards more participation in the upcoming cycles.”
He further added: "We look forward to hosting the award ceremony in April to honour the distinguished winners in the current cycle. Additionally, we encourage all the participants who did not succeed in this cycle to participate again in the upcoming cycles, because their efforts will certainly represent a great addition to the award. I would also like to extend my gratitude to all our partners and key members who have contributed to making this award a success and showcasing the distinguished winners in education as an honourable model in order to cultivate hope and foresee a prosperous future for all the Arab World.”
Dr. Ali Saeed Al-Kaabi, President of Judging Committees explained, "The current cycle witnessed the participation of prominent experts from the region and the world in the judgement committees, who worked as per the highest international standards in assessing entries and selecting the best ones to contribute to a positive change in the educational systems locally, regionally and internationally."
The current cycle saw the adoption of electronic systems for all the local categories, -two winners in the category of ‘Institutions Supporting Education’, including Abu Dhabi Police for tackling the crime scene management and Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA).In the GCC categories, the electronic systems were applied for the first time and interviews for the ‘Distinguished Student’ category were conducted through "Skype". About the level of participation, the Board of Trustees indicated that the 22nd cycle witnessed the participation of 336 participants in the local awards, 84 in the GCC awards, and 113 in the Arab awards.
As for the Hamdan-UNESCO Award for Rewarding Distinguished Practices and Efforts to Improve Teachers’ Performance, Dr. Khalifa Ali Al Suwaidi, member of the Board of Trustees of Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation for Distinguished Academic Performance and Technical Consultant at the Award, indicated a 27percent increase in the participation number in the current cycle compared to the fifth cycle held last year. The participation entries recorded this yearwere193 and the winners will be honoured next October at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, France. The number of participants in the award since its kick off in 2009/2010 until this year’s sixth cycle of 2019/2020 reached 724 participations, while the number of winners in all award cycles was 14 winning institutions.
On a separate note, Al-Suwaidi explained that the first session of this year’s Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum – ISESCO Prize was completed with the participation of 44 participants from 18 different countries, with three winning institutions which will be honoured next April at the headquarters of The Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) in Rabat, Morocco. The award was judged in Dubai by an international three member panel. It is rewarded every two years to three winners, and each individual award is valued at $ 100,000.
The current cycle of the award was won by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud International Foundation for Charity and Humanitarian Deeds for building 172 multi-purpose model schools by the Islamic Development Bank in Bangladesh, the schools project in the Emirati-Jordanian camp, in addition to the inception of 495 schools around the world by the Emirates Red Crescent Authority. Other winners included the Faculty of Information Technology in Birzeit University and Munib R. Masri Development Foundation for educational projects developed in Palestine and other countries.