Speed School Program Recognized With Two Innovation Awards

Speed School Program Recognized With Two Innovation Awards

The Program’s Comprehensive Model Has Helped Over 100,000 Children Receive a Second Chance at an Education

November 13, 2017 — The Speed School program was recognized by two organizations for the innovative way in which it provides children with a second chance at formal education. Speed School was one of the six winners of the 2017 World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) Awards, which recognizes creative approaches to crucial education challenges. Speed School was also selected as a Global 100 winner by HundrED, an organization that seeks and shares inspiring innovations in K12 education worldwide.

The Speed School accelerated learning model delivers the first three years of a national curriculum in just 10 months to out-of-school children aged 9 to 14. With classrooms limited to 25 students, children learn through child-centered, activity-based pedagogy. The learning and skills fostered through Speed School prepares children to join government schools at the 4th-grade level. The program also works with mothers to address the root causes that prevent children from completing their schooling, such as poverty.

Speed School is an initiative of the Luminos Fund, a private donor philanthropic fund dedicated to ensuring children denied the chance to learn by conflict, poverty, or discrimination get access to quality education. The Luminos Fund engages Geneva Global to design and run Speed Schools in various countries.

“We really take second chances for granted,” said Caitlin Baron, Luminos Fund CEO. “In the developing world, people don’t have that luxury. The power of the Speed Schools’ accelerated learning program is that it provides that second chance.”

In Ethiopia, more than 120,000 children have been enrolled in over 5,000 Speed School classrooms since 2011. Over 95 percent of those children transitioned into government schools of whom 83 percent are still pursuing their formal studies.

The University of Sussex—which has been independently evaluating the program since 2011—found that after just one year of intensive study, Speed School graduates generally score above their peers who have studied for three years in their local public schools.

This finding, along with the program’s impact and scalability, was among the successes highlighted by HundrED, which noted that “the innovative pedagogical approach of Speed Schools supports children to make rapid progress and enables them not just catch up with their government school peers but actually overtake them when they return to mainstream education.”

Based on these proven results, government officials at all levels have been exploring how to replicate Speed School’s pedagogy and results within the formal education system.

“The Speed School model proves that with modest resources, kids in the most marginalized settings can receive an education that gives them solid prospects for a fulfilling future,” said Dr. Joshua Muskin, Geneva Global’s Senior Director of Programs and Education Team Leader.

The Speed School program was inspired from a collaboration between Strømme FoundationLegatum Foundation, and Geneva Global that ran in Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso from 2007-2009.

About the Luminos Fund

The Luminos Fund is dedicated to creating education innovations to unlock the light within every child. Around the world, there are 250 million children who never manage to learn how to read and write — 120 million of them don’t even get the chance to try as they are denied the opportunity to go to school. Beginning in the Sahel in Africa, through the refugee crises in the Middle East, and into South Asia, we work to ensure children denied the chance to learn by poverty, conflict, or discrimination get access to the quality education they deserve.

By developing and scaling innovative approaches to learning for the most vulnerable children, we’re able to work at the margins of the education system, in a space where we can create real change. As we scale pioneering, new approaches to bring quality education to children in the greatest need, we work together with local governments to drive systems-level change.

About Geneva Global

Geneva Global is a philanthropic consulting company that fuses art and science to deliver performance philanthropy for its clients. The company provides a full range of advice and services to help individuals, foundations, corporations, and nonprofits in their philanthropy and social change initiatives. On behalf of its clients, Geneva Global’s work has directly benefited more than 100 million people through 2,000 projects in over 100 countries, and influenced over $1 billion in giving. Geneva Global runs Speed School programs for a number of clients, including the Luminos Fund.

HundrED 100 Global Education Innovations

HundrED 100 Global Education Innovations

HundrED has been searching the world for 100 of the most inspiring innovations in education currently being employed in 2017, and selected the Luminos Fund’s Speed School program as one of their honorees. The announcement was made this week at the HundrED Innovation Summit in Helsinki, where CEO Caitlin Baron presented the program alongside other innovators.

Innovations were selected through HundrED’s own in-house research team, as well as through their advisory boards made up of experts in education. Student advisory boards were also consulted in order to make sure young people had their voices heard too. Educational practices had to meet the criteria of being innovative, impactful, and scalable. To make sure HundrED’s findings are correct, the research team focused on finding out whether innovations produced tangible results, whether they addressed a need in an innovative and meaningful way, and whether the idea could grow to help others elsewhere in the world.

HundrED packages their findings in a way that makes it easier for teachers, students, parents, policymakers and thought leaders to find out about the latest developments in education, and to make it as easy as possible to implement similar ideas wherever they are in the world. HundrED will continue to research into innovations in education and will continually update their findings.

The core goal of HundrED is to help good practices in education spread, as education is the key to a happy and healthy future. HundrED hopes to inspire people in education all over the world to improve education where they are. HundrED’s findings are always shared with the world for free.

For more information, head to hundred.org

2017 WISE Award Winner: The Speed School Program

2017 WISE Award Winner: The Speed School Program

The WISE Awards Recognizes Projects for Innovative Solutions to Urgent Education Challenges

The World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE), an international initiative for innovation and collaboration in education, today announced the Luminos Fund’s Speed School project as a winner of its 2017 WISE Awards, which recognize and promote innovative education initiatives around the world.

Based in Boston, the Speed School project is an intensive, child-centered program run by the Luminos Fund to enable out-of-school children to catch up to their grade level at government schools.

It is among six WISE Awards winners this year, selected by a panel of experts from a group of 15 finalists. Other winners include Colorado-based PhET Interactive Simulations, the engineering college 42 (with a presence in France and California), Lights to Learn (Spain/Latin America), The Learner Guide Program (Tanzania/UK) and Ubongo Edutainment (Tanzania).

Stavros N. Yiannouka, CEO of WISE, remarked: “From rural Tanzania and South America to Silicon Valley and Paris, our six WISE Awards winners reflect the wide range of what can be achieved in advancing education ­–whatever the social or geographical context– when there is a creative solution and a determination to see it through. We look forward to showcasing our winners and runners-up at the WISE Summit in Doha in November, and to supporting their progress as they grow.”

Caitlin Baron, CEO of the Luminos Fund, which runs the Speed School, said of winning the award: “This award will be invaluable in advancing our mission as the R&D lab for innovative ways to reach the last 10 percent of children around the world who are still denied the chance to go to school.”

To be selected, the winning projects were required to show success and innovation, demonstrating a transformative impact on individuals, communities and society. They must be financially stable, have a clear development plan and be scalable and replicable. The judging process as well as on-site due diligence was overseen by independent education consultants from Parthenon-EY.

The six WISE Awards winners as well as the runners-up will be celebrated at the eighth World Innovation Summit for Education, November 14-16, 2017, in Doha, Qatar. The application process for the 2018 WISE Awards will be launched at this year’s summit.

In addition to publicity and networking opportunities, each winning project receives $20,000 (US).

For further information, visit https://www.wise-qatar.org/wise-awards.

Luminos Fund Selected as a 2017 WISE Awards Finalist

Luminos Fund Selected as a 2017 WISE Awards Finalist


OPENPediactrics, PhET Interactive Simulations and the Speed School Project are among 15 finalists chosen by the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) for their innovative and impactful approaches to today’s most urgent education challenges

June 27, 2017 – PhET Interactive Simulations by the University of Colorado Boulder, the Speed School Project by the Luminos Fund and OPENPediatrics in partnership with Boston Children’s Hospitalhave been selected as three of the 15 finalist projects for the 2017 WISE Awards.

Each year, the WISE Awards recognize and promote innovative projects from around the world that are addressing global educational challenges.

OPENPediactrics uses medical simulation technology to help people learn how to safely provide life support to critically ill children. Run in partnership with Boston Children’s Hospital, the platform receives over 70,000 visitors per month and has been accessed from every country and territory worldwide.

PhET Interactive Simulations works to advance science and math literacy worldwide through innovative interactive simulations that support more effective and engaging education for free. The initiative was started in 2002 by Nobel Laureate Carl Wieman and is based within University of Colorado Boulder. PhET simulations are used over 80 million times per year.

The Luminos Fund’s Speed School enables out-of-school children to catch up to their grade level in government schools through an intensive, child-centered pedagogy for teaching basic literacy and numeracy. Since the mid-2000s, the model has been implemented in four African countries. It benefits 100,000 out-of-school children aged 9-14 years.

Dr. Jeffrey Burns, Program Co-Director, OPENPediatrics, said: “We are humbled and honored to be named a WISE Award finalist. OPENPediatrics is the world’s first, and only, knowledge exchange platform connecting doctors and nurses to bring the best care possible to critically ill children no matter where they live. This is one valuable idea worth sharing in our complicated world, and as a WISE Award finalist, OPENPediatrics has taken a big leap in further reaching out to help children in need.”

Caitlin Baron, CEO, the Luminos Fund, said: “The Luminos Fund and our partner Geneva Global are delighted that the Speed School program has been selected as a finalist for the WISE Awards. It is our core belief that the combination of patient philanthropy, committed parents and communities, dedicated learning facilitators, creative pedagogy, and the power of play, can help unlock the light in every child.”

Dr. Kathy Perkins, Director, PhET Interactive Simulations, University of Colorado Boulder, said: “”The PhET Interactive Simulations team at University of Colorado Boulder is honored to be selected as a Finalist for the WISE Awards for our work to advance science and math education. In our vision, advancing STEM learning and literacy is key to addressing many of today’s global challenges. We are proud to see our simulations benefiting so many teachers and learners today. And we are excited for the opportunity that this recognition by WISE affords to amplify awareness of our resources and bring them to more communities worldwide.”

Stavros N. Yiannouka, CEO of WISE, said: “We congratulate the Speed School Project, OPENPediactrics and PhET Interactive Simulations for making it to the finalist stage. The 2017 WISE Awards finalist projects have built effective, tested solutions to global educational challenges. Whether ensuring access to fundamental primary education or preparing young people for the 21st century workplace, each project is already transforming lives, and provides an inspirational model for other communities to adopt. This is vital to our mission at WISE, dedicated to empowerment and collaboration.”

The 15 projects come from nine countries. They were evaluated by a pre-Jury of international experts and the due diligence was conducted by independent education consultants from Parthenon-EY.

The finalists were evaluated according to strict criteria. They must be successful, innovative education projects that have already demonstrated a transformative impact on individuals, communities, and society. They must be financially stable, have a clear development plan and be scalable and replicable.

The six WISE Awards winning projects will be announced in September 2017 and celebrated at the eighth World Innovation Summit for Education, November 14-16, 2017, in Doha, Qatar. In addition to publicity and networking opportunities, each project receives $20,000 (US).

For further information, visithttps://www.wise-qatar.org/wise-awards.

About the WISE Awards:
Each year, the WISE Awards recognize and promote six successful innovative projects that are addressing global educational challenges. Since 2009, WISE has received more than over 3,000 applications from over 150 countries. To date, 48 projects from a wide variety of sectors and locations have won the WISE Awards, for their innovation, positive contribution and their potential for scalability and adaptability. These projects represent a growing resource of expertise and sound education practice. Year by year, WISE is building a community of education innovators which offers a fertile environment for ground-breaking collaboration. Today the WISE Awards network comprises pioneering projects that are helping bring real change to societies and communities.

The six winning projects will be announced in September 2017. The winners will attend the eighth World Innovation Summit for Education, November 14-16, 2017, in Doha, Qatar.

Discover the 2017 WISE Awards Finalists:www.wise-qatar.org/wise-awards-2017

About Parthenon EY:
Parthenon-EY is a strategy consultancy, committed to bringing unconventional yet pragmatic thinking together with our clients’ smarts to deliver actionable strategies for real impact in today’s complex business landscape. The Parthenon-EY Education practice has an explicit mission and vision to be the leading strategy advisor to the global education industry. To achieve this, the company invests significantly in dedicated management and team resources so that its global experience extends across public sector and not-for-profit education providers, foundations, for-profit companies and service providers, and investors. Parthenon-EY has delivered more than 1,000 education sector engagements across over 95 countries in the last 10 years. Parthenon-EY is a member of the global network of EY Firms.

The World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE)
The World Innovation Summit for Education was established by Qatar Foundation in 2009 under the leadership of its Chairperson, Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser. WISE is an international, multi-sectoral platform for creative, evidence-based thinking, debate, and purposeful action in education.  Through the biennial summit, collaborative research and a range of on-going programs, WISE is a global reference in new approaches to education.  WISE 2017 will take place in Doha on November 14-16, 2017 under the theme: “Co-Exist, Co-Create: Learning to Live and Work Together”.

For further information about WISE, visit www.wise-qatar.org

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The Luminos Fund is a 501(c)(3), tax-exempt charitable organization registered in the United States (EIN 36-4817073).

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