Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation Announces End of Application Period for ‘Literacy Challenge’

  • 29 Aug 2019
  • Dubai

The Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation (MBRF) announced that the application period for the second edition of the ‘Literacy Challenge’ award has ended, giving way to the final stage where the winners will be selected from participating individuals and organisations.

A total of 55 applications were received, 37 of which came from individuals and 18 from organisations. In the following stage, a panel of seven expert judges and academics will review the submissions and evaluate them, in preparation for announcing the winners on January 8, 2020, which coincides with Arab Literacy Day.

MBRF’s CEO His Excellency Jamal bin Huwaireb said: “The Literacy Challenge is another milestone the UAE can take pride in and a reflection of the wise leadership’s dedication to effect real and significant change for the people of the Arab region. Every year, the Challenge helps demonstrate the desire among millions of individuals to learn, read, and begin the knowledge journey.”

“In its first edition, the Challenge received outstanding submissions from individuals and organisations that inspired many to take action and be part of the effort to build a better future for the Arab World,” H.E. added. “The current edition of the Challenge has drawn even more submissions, reflecting the Arab region’s aspirations for change, and the people’s determination to embrace knowledge as a means to improve their lives.”

The MBRF CEO went on to explain that the Literacy Challenge is not confined to promoting reading and writing, but goes beyond it, striving to eradicate technological illiteracy, where technology has become the driving force in all communities.

“Eradicating illiteracy is key for disseminating knowledge,” said H.E. bin Huwaireb. “Providing equal education opportunities for Arab children and youth of both genders empowers them to effect change in the region; this was the main motivation behind launching the Literacy Challenge from Dubai, under directives from His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai. It is an objective that can only be achieved if governments, organisations, and individuals work together and promote educational programmes.”

The Literacy Challenge 2018 – the programme’s first edition – saw the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) win the award in the International Organisations category, in recognition of its outstanding literacy projects around the world. Meanwhile, Egypt’s Ministry of Education won in the Government category for its leading role in modernising the pre-university education ecosystem in the country.

In the Individuals category, Dr. Shefa Hassan, Director of the UNESCO Chair and the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (ISESCO) at the University of Science and Technology of the Republic of Sudan , won the award for her role in establishing the comprehensive scientific and technological literacy project for women in Sudan, which benefitted 2,420 women across three of the country’s provinces: The Red Sea Province, South Darfur, and West Kordofan.

The Literacy Challenge seeks to make up for individuals’ lack of access to conventional education opportunities as a means to address the illiteracy problem, which has had a negative impact across the entire region, as well as to narrow the gender gap in education.