• Wednesday, Aug 21, 2019
  • Last Update : 04:20 am

a2i wins WSIS award for ICT and Innovation for the 6th time

  • Published at 11:54 am April 11th, 2019
Champions and winners from various categories join in a photo session after receiving World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) Award 2019 in Geneva on Tuesday, April 9, 2019 Courtesy

a2i received the award for a portal for teachers, and a project to reduce child marriage

Access to Information in Bangladesh (a2i) has won the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) Award 2019 in the field of information technology. 

Eight projects from Bangladesh received the award on April 9 at a grand ceremony at the headquarters of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), in Geneva. 

Minister for Posts, Telecommunication and Information Technology and Chairman Designate of WSIS Forum 2019 Mustafa Jabbar and State Minister for Information and Communication Technology Zunaid Ahmed Palak received the award for Bangladesh, along with other delegates from Bangladesh.

This year, a2i received the WSIS award for two of its projects: "Teacher’s Portal" and "Mobile-Based Age Verification Before Marriage Registration to Stop Child Marriage," read a press release.

The interactive Teacher’s Portal (www.teachers.gov.bd) is a smart supplement to Bangladesh’s ailing teachers’ training system with inadequate modern learning facility. 

The teachers’ portal, a collaborative, co-creative and problem solving CPD platform, has fast became popular among teachers to create/share digital content for all subject areas. As the membership exceeds 342,425 and growing, the portal is already the largest local repository of educational content.

Also  Read- 2 initiatives of BNNRC get 2019 UN WSIS Prizes

The Mobile-Based Age Verification Before Marriage Registration to Stop Child Marriage project was facilitated by the Service Innovation Fund of a2i Programme to collect and verify age from the National Server by Using Mobile Phone Network through SMS service. 

With the support from relevant government authorities the system is mandatory for all the marriage registrars of Bangladesh. It has managed to reduce the number of child marriages significantly, where Bangladesh has the fourth-highest rate of child marriage in the world. 

This year, more than 1,140 applications have been submitted for the WSIS award worldwide. Two million people voted to shortlist the top 90 projects: 72 projects as champions and 18 projects as winners. Seven projects from Bangladesh made it as champions and one project as the winner.

The WSIS award is considered a major recognition for information technology related initiatives and their implementation.

After receiving the WSIS-2019 award, Minister Mustafa Jabbar, State Minister Honorable Minister,and the State Minister Zunaid Ahmed Palak said in a reaction that this was the achievement for the entire nation. In this regard, Minister Jabbar conveyed his sincere thanks and gratitude to the architect of Digital Bangladesh, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, and Prime Minister's ICT Affairs Advisor Sajeeb Wazed Joy.

Secretary of Information and Communication Technology Division, Bangladesh N M Ziaul Alam, Policy Advisor Anir Chowdhury, educational technology expert Md Rafiqul Islam, and innovation fund expert Nahid Alam were present—on behalf of a2i—along with representatives of other organizations.