The Yidan Prize Foundation, a global philanthropic educational foundation focused on inspiring and supporting innovative education ideas and practices, today announced the formation of a Council of Luminaries (“The Council”) at this year’s Yidan Prize Awards Presentation Ceremony and Summit, held virtually in Hong Kong SAR.

The council will support closer collaboration among the world’s most distinguished educational leaders, to amplify their collective voice and take practical action in educational policy and reform. Tom Kane, Walter H. Gale Professor of Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and faculty director of the Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University, is among the inaugural council members.

“Given the number of national governments describing education as their ‘most important domestic policy challenge,’ it is striking that there are so few international efforts to stimulate and support innovation in education,” Kane said. “The Yidan Council could draw up a blueprint for future efforts to pilot and test educational innovation internationally.”

Now, more than ever, there is need for urgent action to provide quality education. According to UNESCO’s ‘Save Our Future’ White Paper published this summer, 1.6 billion students’ education have been interrupted due to COVID-19. The pandemic forced school closures that have affected 90 percent of the world’s students. In a time when online learning is the only option for many, half of the world’s children cannot access the internet. More importantly, there is a gap between educational research and practices. As society begins to take small but positive steps towards a post-COVID-19 world, collaboration in education is becoming increasingly important. There has never been a better time to rethink educational practices, foster a more equitable and inclusive system, and build bridges between research and practice.

“As a firm believer in the power of education, the Yidan Prize Foundation believes the world needs an open and people-driven platform which brings together the brightest minds in education to inspire progress and change in education for a better world,” said Charles Chen Yidan, Founder of the Yidan Prize Foundation, at the Summit. “All our luminaries are passionate educators who are highly accomplished and dedicated. The luminaries’ work has already brought about hugely positive changes to communities all around the world. They have made transformations possible in innovative, sustainable ways.”

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