The 'UNESCO-Hamdan Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum Prize for Outstanding Practice and Performance in Enhancing the Effectiveness of Teachers', set up in 2009 and funded by his Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, aims to support, encourage and benefit those working to enhance the performance and effectiveness of teachers towards Education for All. It attaches particular importance to outstanding practices in developing country contexts or those aimed at marginalized and disadvantaged communities. It also aims to facilitate the global sharing and dissemination of outstanding practices regarding teachers.
Every two years, the Prize is rewarded to three candidates from around the world who have shown outstanding achievement in enhancing the performance and effectiveness of teachers in developing countries or within marginalized or disadvantaged communities from the wider global context.
Rato Bangala Foundation is one of the three prize winners for 2012 and has won the award for its work in the Dailekh School Project. The Dailekh School Project (DSP) is a joint undertaking of RBPOP and Rato Bangala Foundation and covers over 500 schools in Dailekh and over 1800 teachers, with all primary school going children being direct beneficiaries. The programme also offers full scholarships to underprivileged children of minority castes to study at Rato Bangala School. The partnership with the Government is stronger than ever before, with MOU's signed at the Department of Education, District Education Office, Village Development Committees, and with each individual school in Dailekh.
In the words of one jury member, Ora Kwo, "When education is a privilege for some but not for all, what the educated do with their education matters a lot to the goal of the EFA. In Dailekh the [one of the] poorest districts of Nepal, material resources for education cannot compare with those in well-developed societies. Yet the hope of EFA has been brought alive there by the collective leadership force: there is no single hero, and no competition for recognition! The partners are not short of challenges, yet there seems to be enough power for the continual strides. Obstacles are just seen as signposts for the winding journey. The project has created music that cannot stop!"