Yidan Prize Laureates 2019
Professor Usha GOSWAMI
Yidan Prize for Education Research Laureate 2019
Professor Usha GOSWAMI is a world-leading researcher in the fields of literacy, neuroscience and education. She is Professor of Cognitive Developmental Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge, and a Fellow of St John’s College Cambridge. Professor GOSWAMI founded and serves as Director of the world’s first Centre for Neuroscience in Education. Her research has identified the importance of children’s awareness of linguistic rhythm patterns for their reading acquisition, and has also revealed the brain basis of rhythm perception, showing how this neural process is impaired in developmental dyslexia. These discoveries are enabling transformative educational interventions that have the potential to benefit millions of children worldwide.
Professor GOSWAMI was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 2013, and has won a range of international prizes for her research. She has given talks on neuroscience and learning in numerous countries’ governments and organizations, has published 8 books and over 180 research papers, and has written widely for educators and for the public.
Sir Fazle Hasan ABED KCMG
Yidan Prize for Education Development Laureate 2019
Sir Fazle Hasan ABED KCMG (27 April 1936 – 20 December 2019) was the Founder and Chair Emeritus of BRAC, ranked by Geneva-based ‘NGO Advisor’ as the number one NGO in the world in 2019 for the fourth consecutive year based on its innovation, impact and governance. Established in 1972, and operating across 11 countries in Africa and Asia, BRAC’s primary objectives are alleviating poverty and empowering the poor.
Sir Fazle always viewed education as a crucial catalyst for change. He firmly believed that it is about more than just schools and books. Play based joyful learning is a cornerstone of BRAC’s approach. BRAC has set up more than 1,400 play-based early childhood development centres across Bangladesh, Tanzania and Uganda, where close to 40,000 children aged 1 to 5 years are presently enrolled. In these centres, pre-school children have access to age-appropriate play materials, a play-based curriculum, and play spaces that ensure their holistic development.
Sir Fazle was honoured with numerous national and international awards for his achievements in leading BRAC. In 2009, Sir Fazle was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of St. Michael and St. George by the British Crown in recognition of his services to reducing poverty in Bangladesh and internationally.