The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has announced the winners of the 12th edition of the UNESCO King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa Prize for the Use of ICT in Education, themed “The use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to enhance the continuity and quality of learning.”
The two laureates were the “One College Student Per Village” programme at the Open University of China (OUC), and “ViLLE”, which is a collaborative digital learning platform developed by the Centre for Learning Analytics, University of Turku, Finland.
The winning works were chosen among many projects nominated by UNESCO member states and partner organisations, based on the recommendation of an international jury comprising world education experts from various countries.
On the occasion, Education Minister, Dr. Majid bin Ali Al-Nuaimi, highlighted the significance of the international award launched by His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa in 2005, and adopted by UNESCO.
He indicated that the goals of the prestigious award are consistent with those of the UNESCO, focusing on expanding the use of information and communication technology (ICT) in education, noting that the increasing number of participants annually proves the crucial importance of the award in serving humanity through education.
Dr. Al-Nuaimi said that the 2020 edition of the award focused on the role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in ensuring everyone continuous access to quality education, especially amid the exceptional circumstances imposed by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), leading to the adoption of remote learning, using modern technology.
The UNESCO King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa Prize for the Use of ICT in Education recognises innovative approaches in leveraging new technologies to expand educational and lifelong learning opportunities for all, in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Goal 4 on education. It rewards individuals and organisations that are implementing outstanding projects and promoting the creative use of technologies to enhance learning, teaching and overall educational performance in the digital age.
About the Winning Projects:
The “One College Student Per Village” programme, implemented by the Open University of China (OUC), uses AI to provide learners from rural and remote areas with quality learning opportunities. The programme works through a smart learning platform using voice and semantic analysis, automatic feedback, automated essay scoring, and big data analysis, which allows an increasing number of learners from rural and remote areas to benefit from quality learning experiences. As of 2020, more than 800,000 learners enrolled in 3,735 learning centers nationwide have benefited from the programme.
The collaborative education platform “ViLLE”, developed by the Centre for Learning Analytics (University of Turku), offers a personalised set of exercises based on students’ performance and provides teachers with detailed reports on their students’ progress. The strong academic foundation of the project ensures evidence-based data utilization and learning analytics drawing on AI. More than 300,000 students use the platform and 14,000 registered teachers have collaboratively created over 4,000 courses and 130,000 exercises.