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Wandiika children's writing prize qualifies for international awards

By Ritah Mukasa

Added 28th October 2020 06:53 PM

Popularly called the ‘Oscars of Education, these awards are organized by Quacquarelli Symonds, a global higher education think-tank in partnership with The Wharton School and Imperial College London.

Wandiika children's writing prize qualifies for international awards

A participant speaking during the event. Photos by Ritah Mukasa

Popularly called the ‘Oscars of Education, these awards are organized by Quacquarelli Symonds, a global higher education think-tank in partnership with The Wharton School and Imperial College London.

EDUCATION 

Wandiika children's writing prize has been shortlisted to compete for Reimagine Education international awards worth $50,000 (about 186.7m).

They were sieved from a pool of over 1500 applications worldwide.

Popularly called the ‘Oscars of Education, these awards are organized by Quacquarelli Symonds, a global higher education think-tank in partnership with The Wharton School and Imperial College London.

They are given for innovative approaches that improve students learning outcomes and employability. Final results will be announced during the virtual conference between December 9-11th.

Simpson Muhwezi, the founder and creative director of Wandiika writing prize says they were encouraged to apply for the awards because they are passionate about promoting innovativeness in education.

"If we win, we shall use the funds to scale up the program to all districts and invest in publishing more stories written by children," he anticipates.

This will narrow the gap of insufficient supply of authentic reading materials in Ugandan schools, especially in rural areas.

Participants receiving their certificates in 2019



"Wandiika employs creative writing as a tool to empower pupils with skills of creativity and survival," he explains adding that, "We offer children a platform to create imaginative stories, which inspire them to learn to think critically, be more articulate and confident, and improve their academic performance."

The initiative also helps Ugandan teachers to appreciate and learn to use stories to complement their teaching methodologies.

Elizabeth Zipporah Akol, programs director hopes this recognition will compel Ugandans more so, primary schools to embrace the initiative where participation is free of charge.

"Learners write stories in their free time, on any piece of paper available, on any subject and in any language," she elaborates.

Wandiika was also started to enable teachers to develop their students' curiosity and hone learners' articulacy, creativity, confidence and ability to ask the right questions.

It has been running for two years from June ending with an award-giving ceremony, in November at KCCA children's library.

The organizers were forced to cancel the 2020 edition because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to the closure of primary schools. They plan to resume in 2021.

This competition is designed for primary pupils between six and 13 years.

Teachers are also involved as they guide pupils before and during the story-writing process. However, priority is given to underprivileged schools from all regions of the country.





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