Primary & Secondary Education News South Africa

Khalifa International Award for early learning recognises SA pre-school initiative

South Africa's 'Thrive by Five' index, the first nationally representative survey of preschoolers, has clinched one of the coveted Khalifa International Awards for Early Learning (KIAEL).
Source: Unsplash

This accolade celebrates 'Thrive by Five' for its remarkable achievement in delivering population-level data that meticulously tracks the developmental progress of South African preschool children across three vital domains: early learning, physical growth, and social-emotional functioning.

Sonja Giese, the founding executive director of DataDrive2030, expressed her enthusiasm for this achievement and shared her vision for the project's future:

“The first round of the index revealed important insights and received significant public coverage and government and broader sectoral buy-in.

“As we plan for the next round of data collection in 2024, we are determined to leverage the Index as a catalyst for change for young children in South Africa. We are of course delighted to be one of the four global winners of the prestigious KIAEL.”

The other three winners of KIAEL’s inaugural edition were the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Morocco's Zakoura Foundation, and Professor Laura Justice from the USA, who were celebrated for their remarkable research papers, innovative programmes, and teaching methodologies.

Open for entries

KIAEL 2024 has now launched its second edition, inviting visionary educators, researchers, and organisations from around the world to submit their pioneering initiatives in early childhood education.

With a prize pool of $200,000, KIAEL aims to recognise and celebrate outstanding contributions that have a profound impact on the early learning field.

Following the resounding success of its inaugural edition, which saw four deserving winners emerge from a competitive pool of over 300 submissions across 61 countries, KIAEL is set to build on its legacy of excellence.

The KIAEL 2024 features two prominent categories: "Best Programmes, Curricula, Teaching Methodologies and Practices" and "Best Research & Studies."

Each category will see the selection of two winners by a distinguished panel of academics, who will rigorously evaluate submissions based on criteria such as innovativeness, importance, impact, methodological rigour, and feasibility/sustainability.

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