Naledi Pandor, South Africa’s minister of science and technology, has been elected as one of five distinguished international personalities in order to perform the duties of adjudicators for a leading award for education – the most recently unveiled accolade available today globally.
The jury will pick out an individual or group who have offered an exceptional contribution to education across the world. The winner is going to be given the Wise Prize for Education, a global honor spearheaded as a result of the Qatar Fondation. The prize is comprised of US$500 000 (R3.4-million) winning prize money plus a gold medal.
The Wise Prize had been publicized by the foundation’s chairperson Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser at the conclusion of the second World Innovation Summit for Education (Wise) in Doha, Qatar, last December.
Additional jury members are director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University Prof Jeffrey D Sachs, chairperson of Wise Sheikh Abdulla bin Ali Al-Thani, chairperson of the Maulana Azad Educational Trust in India and former award-winning journalist Fatma Rafiq Zakaria and librarian of Congress in the US Dr James H Billington.
The 58-year-old Pandor served as minister of education in South Africa between 2004 and 2009. She has been moved to head the Department of Science and Technology after the 2009 national elections.
A daughter of renowned freedom fighter the late Joe Mathews, Pandor attained the vast majority of her education whilst in exile. She matriculated in Botswana, and proceeded to receive her BA degree from the University of Botswana and Swaziland, now the University of Botswana.
She received her MA in education from the University of London together with another in linguistics from the University of Stellenbosch.
Pandor herself took part in combating apartheid and also been a member of parliament since 1994, representing the ruling African National Congress. She was formerly chairperson of the all-important National Council of Provinces from 1999 to 2004.
In 2002 she became the first woman to be appointed chancellor of Cape Technikon, which subsequently combined with Peninsula Technikon to create the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. The Durban-born Pandor is additionally an erstwhile senior lecturer at the University of Cape Town.
Rich experience and diversified panel
Pandor mentioned her infatuation for education had been a motivator in her option to partake in the jury. “I accepted the request to serve on this jury for the reason that I am enthusiastic when it comes to education and I also recognize the Qatar Foundation is performing exceptional work in adding to the worldwide undertaking of quality education and learning for all.
“Furthermore, the chance to work along with a prestigious panel of jury members was in fact irresistible,” she mentioned in a statement.
Dr Al-Thani claimed the five adjudicators ended up being picked out as a result of their knowledge and proficiency in education.
“I am very happy to welcome this particular group of prestigious individuals in order to make up the Wise Prize for Education jury. They happen to have been chosen due to their international vision, professional triumphs as well as expertise,” he announced in a media statement.
“I believe that their rich past experiences in addition to contrasting capabilities will definitely make it possible for all of us to identify a laureate of the highest calibre, and the Wise Prize for Education is set to become the global standard for achievement within this field.”
Wise nominations invited
Apart from remarkable individuals, the sort of groups that might emerge with the winning prize may include governments, universities, schools, NGOs, teachers’ organisations, media houses and private corporations.
They have until the end of April 2011 to be able to be nominated. The panel will then get started scrutinising the particular entries and select the outstanding candidate in July.
The winning prize is going to be presented at the third Wise summit in Doha in November. The annual summit comprises 1 000 world leaders gathering to talk about solutions to enhance education and learning around the world.
Source: mediaclubsouthafrica.com, myfundi.co.za, wise-qatar.org,