Winners of the 2019 GESS Education Awards have been announced, honouring outstanding achievements in the field of education from 11 countries around the world, including the UAE, Finland, Ireland, the UK, Denmark, USA, Hong Kong, Kenya, Jordan, Canada and Saudi Arabia.
Thousands of submissions were received from as many as 45 countries, making this year’s edition of the prestigious awards programme the biggest to date.
Leading the winners is Dr Ashok Kumar, Chief Executive Officer, The Indian High School who was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award, presented in association with Taaleem. An educational leader with more than 30 years of experience in the educational sector, Dr Kumar was recognised by the judges as a passionate leader with an unmatched track record of successfully managing various groups of educational institutions.
“Dr Kumar is an exceptional person who came into the region and has certainly ‘Made a Difference’ in his time here. He led the Indian High School to an “Outstanding” rating by the KHDA in the DSIB school inspection cycle, for six consecutive years. His commitment to improving education both nationally and internationally was recognised when he was awarded a National Award for Best Principal in 2001: given by the Hon. Minister of Education for India, Dr Murli Manohar Joshi. He has also been honoured in the UAE by being the recipient of the Sheikh Hamdan Award for his Distinguished School and School Administration,” said Ros Marshall, CEO, Taaleem.
Among the teachers, schools and education professionals who were recognised for their various noteworthy initiatives were Louise McGeever – Safa British School (Ambassador for the Environment), Kamal Kalwani – Ambassador School (Best Initiative for Inclusion and Wellbeing), Janet Mulei – Diamond Junior School, Kenya (Best Use of Digital Learning in the Classroom); Lauren Malin, Al Ittihad Private School Jumeira and Abdulaziz Ahmed – Dubai British School (Best use of STEAM Learning in the Classroom), International Community School Amman (Community Award for Citizenship); Year 5 Team – Jumeirah English Speaking School Arabian Ranches (Innovation in Education Award); as well as Carolyn Bailey, Cambridge High School and Jaya Bhavnani, Dwight Global Online School (Outstanding Contribution in Education Award).
The other set of awardees honoured education suppliers and individual products, including the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Best CSR Programme for Education), Immersive VR Education (Best Digital / VR / AI Product), Mathigon (Best Free App / Software Product), Claned Group (Best Paid for App / Software Product), Charanga for International Schools/Charanga (Best Product to Promote Arts, Music and Drama in the Classroom), ActiveFloor (Best Product to Promote Health, Fitness and Sports in the Classroom), ISKU Middle East DMCC (Best Sustainable / Eco-Friendly Product), Yap Books (Innovation Product Awards – Digital / Coding / Software), Gratnells Ltd (Innovation Products Awards – Equipment / Hardware / non-ICT), newmero bricks / newmero (Early Years Resource / Equipment Supplier of the Year), Nahla Wa Nahil (Primary Resource / Equipment Supplier of the Year), Aristo STEM Connection and Saudi Digital Library (Secondary and Higher Education Resource / Equipment Supplier of the Year), Real Training (SEN Resource / Equipment Supplier of the Year), Awecademy (Start Up Company of the Year).
Meanwhile, The Hollins Let’s Be Foundation and Learn IT were given the Judges Commendation Award for Teachers, Schools, Educational Professionals as well as Suppliers, respectively.