Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor (second from left), Yidan Prize founder Charles Chen Yidan (second from right) and laureates Larry Hedges (left) and Anant Agarwal (right) at the Yidan Prize award presentation ceremony. (PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)
HONG KONG - Education is a powerful tool to address many of the world’s most daunting problems, and is the best gift parents, educators and policy makers could give to younger generations, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor stressed on Sunday.
Lam pledged that the Hong Kong SAR Government is committed to providing comprehensive, high-quality education that is available to all, regardless of background and financial means
She pledged that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government is committed to providing comprehensive, high-quality education that is available to all, regardless of background and financial means.
Lam was speaking at the Yidan Prize award presentation ceremony held in Hong Kong. The prize was founded in 2016 by co-founder of Chinese mainland tech giant Tencent Holdings Charles Chen Yidan with his HK$2.5-billion personal trust in recognition of educators who have made outstanding contributions to the development of world education.
Chen said education is the key to a better world and should be accessible to everyone worldwide.
He hoped that more novel changes could be made in all aspects in the education sector besides curriculum innovations.
The annual Yidan Prize comprises two awards -- one for education development and the other for education research. Each laureate will receive a gold medal, a cash prize of HK$15 million and a project fund of HK$15 million.
Larry Hedges, who was awarded the Yidan Prize for Education Research, told the ceremony that substantial improvements in education could only be made if education systems rely more on scientific evidence.
Hedges added that he felt honored to receive the prize and would make use of the prize money to press ahead with evidence-based education reform.
A veteran statistician and chairman of the Department of Statistics at Northwestern University in Chicago, Hedges applied meta-analysis in social, medical and biological sciences research, helping the world to see what works in education.
Meta-analysis refers to a methodology that synthesizes data across multiple, often the full population of relevant studies, to show clearer patterns for research subjects.
The Yidan Prize for Education Development went to Anant Agarwal, chief executive officer of online learning platform edX and professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
He called education a basic human right, and it is his and the platform’s goal to ensure that education is made a basic human right through the provision of high-quality learning content.
He said he felt privileged to receive the prize, and would ensure the prize money is used to helping more young people around the world gain access to learning opportunities and learning content.
Agarwal’s platform, founded in 2012, offers more than 2,000 free online courses from more than 130 leading institutions to about 18 million people around the world.
The 2018 Yidan Prize received around 1,000 nominations from 92 countries and regions.
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