To create a better world, these leaders are changing the way students access educational opportunities
For these changemakers on Asia’s Most Influential list, changing the world starts with education. And so they have devoted their lives to making education more equitable and improving its systems. Through a global prize, an online edtech platform and a gamification system, students are given more ways to chase after big and bright dreams.
Charles Chen Yidan, Hong Kong
Charles Chen Yidan, co-founder of Chinese technology company Tencent, has dedicated his life to transforming education. In 2016, he established the Yidan Prize, the global award that recognizes individuals or teams who have made positive contributions in two education categories: research and development. Aside from a gold medal, the winners receive a HK$30 million prize (around US$3.9 million)—half in cash and the rest as a fund to expand their initiatives.
“I wanted to set up a platform that would allow the global community to share new ideas and discuss issues related to the current and future development of education and its effect on future generations,” he told Tatler.
Last year’s Yidan Prize laureates include Professor Eric A. Hanushek, whose research has influenced education policy, and Dr Rukmini Banerji, CEO of Pratham Education Foundation. Pratham has partnered with India’s state governments for the Teaching at the Right Level program.
This month, Yidan Prize Foundation, together with Brookings Center for Universal Education, is holding a three-part online series, which will explore emerging topics in education such as the metaverse, refugee education and post-Covid education.
Read Charles Chen Yidan’s full profile here.
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Yidan Prize 2021 Awarded to Professor Eric Hanushek and Dr Rukmini Banerji
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Henry Motte-Muñoz, Philippines
Henry Motte-Muñoz provides greater access to learning and beyond through Edukasyon.ph. The online portal—the largest educational technology platform in the Philippines—connects young Filipinos to educational opportunities around the world, helps them develop skills and also offers guidance for internships, job listings and career paths.
To supplement its student-focused services, the platform has launched the on-demand Edge Tutor service in June 2022, offering a curriculum that “exceeds international standards” for children as young as four years old.
“My dream is for a country where students don’t just get access to a quality academic education but a holistic one as well,” Motte-Muñoz told Generation T. “Being educated is not just about getting a degree; it’s about picking up skills that prepare you for the workplace and becoming a responsible citizen who knows how to vote and pay taxes, one who cares for the environment and cares about and understands our history.”
Read Henry Motte-Muñoz’s full profile here.
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Benson Yeh, Taiwan
To disrupt the processes of learning, Benson Yeh co-founded BoniO, the tech company that channels the power of gaming for education, as well as PaGamO, the world's first online gamification learning platform.
Today, PaGamO facilitates learning for more than 1.5 million students, all of whom play and compete together, in online games that combine knowledge and strategy. A fantasy island game, for example, allows students “build their own beautiful kingdom of knowledge”, while the Boss Challe