Pratham's Rukmini Banerji And Eric Hanushek Get Yidan Prize 2021
Today, the Yidan Prize Foundation awarded India-based Dr Rukmini Banerji and US-based Professor Eric Hanushek the prestigious Yidan Prize 2021.
Today, the Yidan Prize Foundation awarded India-based Dr Rukmini Banerji and US-based Professor Eric Hanushek the prestigious Yidan Prize 2021. Dr Banerji and Professor Hanushek have been awarded the Yidan Prize in recognition of their ground-breaking work addressing a crucial piece of the education puzzle: improving quality of education and outcomes for learners at scale.
They will join nine laureates who have been awarded the Yidan Prize since its inception in 2016, established by the Yidan Prize Foundation - a global philanthropic education foundation that inspires progress and change in education.
They will each receive HK$30 million (approximately US$3.9 million), made up of a HK$15 million cash prize and a project fund of HK$15 million, from the Yidan Prize Foundation.
Dr Rukmini Banerji, Chief Executive Officer of the Pratham Education Foundation, is awarded the 2021 Yidan Prize for Education Development for her work in improving learning outcomes.
The Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) assessment approach, pioneered by Dr Banerji and her team in India, revealed literacy and numeracy gaps among children who had already spent several years at school. To close these gaps, her team’s “Teaching at the Right Level” (TaRL) program works with schools and local communities to provide basic reading and arithmetic skills, ensuring no children are left behind. This systematic, replicable model reaches millions of children annually across the country and is spreading around the globe.
“Dr Rukmini Banerji and the Pratham team have a clear mission: ‘Every child in school and learning well’. A reminder that we need to focus on education quality and not just school enrolments. The solutions that they have deployed towards this goal have proven to be cost-effective and scalable with a demonstrated potential to impact globally—disruptive education innovation with transformative results”, said Dorothy K Gordon, head of Yidan Prize for Education Development judging panel, and Board Member of the UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education.
With the support of the Yidan Prize, Dr Banerji plans to strengthen and expand Pratham’s work with young children so that strong foundations can be built early in a child’s life. Dr Banerji believes this will contribute significantly towards the goal of seeing “every child in school and learning well”.
Professor Eric A Hanushek, Paul and Jean Hanna Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution of Stanford University, is awarded the 2021 Yidan Prize for Education Research. His work focuses on education outcomes and the importance of teaching quality and has transformed both research and policy internationally.
His work helped shape the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 4 (ensure inclusive and equitable quality education) by reframing targets for learning outcomes and has shown that it’s how much students learn – and not how many years they spend in school – that boosts economies.
“Like no one else, Eric has been able to link the fields of economics and education. From designing better and fairer systems for evaluating teacher performance to linking better learning outcomes to long-run economic and social progress, he has made an amazing range of education policy areas amenable to rigorous economic analysis.” said Andreas Schleicher, head of the Yidan Prize for Education Research judging panel.
With the Yidan Prize funding, Professor Hanushek is planning a research fellow program in Africa, supporting analytical capacity to shape education policies from a local perspective.
About Yidan Prize
The Yidan Prize is an education award that recognizes individuals, or up to three-member teams, who have contributed significantly to education research and development.
The prize aims to progress learning by building a global community committed to advancing ideas in education.
The Yidan Prize Foundation was formally established in 2016 by Dr Charles Chen Yidan.
The idea of the prize came to him after stepping down as Chief Administration Officer of Tencent, which he co-founded in 1998.
Each year the Yidan Prize is awarded in two categories to individuals, or teams of up to three members:
Yidan Prize for Education Research: Awarded for significant contribution to the science of education.
Yidan Prize for Education Development: Awarded for instituting positive change in education and learning.