Daily Archives: March 11, 2016

Nigerian Pro-Democracy Activist Hafsat Abiola-Costello Receives Vital Voices Global Leadership Award

WASHINGTON, March 10, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Last night at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 1,200 honored guests gathered at the 15th Annual Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards to celebrate four extraordinary women, each taking on the most urgent issues facing their communities and showing exceptional leadership in an insecure world.

Vital Voices Global Partnership.

Photo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160310/343099
Logo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160305/340778LOGO

Vital Voices Global Partnership honored Hafsat Abiola-Costello of Nigeria with the Leadership in Public Life Award. Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of the Children’s Defense Fund presented.

“[Abiola-Costello] believes Nigeria needs more than one or two good leaders, it needs a groundswell. And that groundswell must include women,” said Edelman. “For 20 years she’s been removing barriers to women’s full participation, fostering a new generation of leaders that’s poised to solve the country’s most urgent issues.”

Through her non-profit, Kudirat Initiative for Democracy (KIND), Abiola-Costello is working to remove barriers to women’s political participation and to eliminate violence against women. Since age 19, she’s been stirring up activism in fellow Nigerians, fueling movements for democracy, gender equality and women’s leadership. Her life’s work is a tribute to her parents, who were assassinated for their pro-democracy activism.

“I was 19 when my mother was killed for fighting for change in Nigeria. So it was at 19 that I decided to do more than what my society expected,” said Abiola-Costello. “The journey has not been an easy one.”

Hafsat Abiola-Costello (Paul Morigi/Vital Voices).

Akanksha Hazari of India, Khanim Latif of Iraq and Yoani Sánchez of Cuba were also honored for demonstrating bold, courageous leadership.

Alyse Nelson, president and Chief Executive Officer of Vital Voices, made the following remarks about Abiola-Costello and her fellow honorees:

“It’s never been more critical to support leaders who scale sustainable solutions, who foster resilience and use their platform to uplift others. Vital Voices invests in these leaders, in their proven ability to improve the world around them.”

For 15 years, Vital Voices has been shining a spotlight on visionary leaders who find solutions to enduring problems and create progress in their communities and beyond.

Photos available upon request.

MEDIA CONTACT: Linda Roth – lindaroth@vitalvoices.org – 202-744-5240

CEM addresses reports on marking standardisation

The Council of Education Ministers (CEM) has expressed disappointment with an article carried in the Sunday Times newspaper on standardisation.

The council met in Pretoria on Thursday, where it received a number of reports on developments in the basic education sector.

“The article reduced a very complex and extensive process involving well respected experts in South Africa to just an unwarranted exercise of the inflation of learner marks. This can only come from those who do not have an intimate understanding and appreciation of how large scale examinations are standardised and moderated throughout the world.

“CEM made it clear that at no stage will they interfere in the work of Umalusi by questioning or investigating their practices, as incorrectly reported in the Sunday Times.

“There is no investigation into the standardisation decisions of Umalusi but the implementation of intervention strategies to improve the quality of teaching and learning across the system that will be driven by all managers at the different levels of the system,” said the Department of Basic Education in a statement issued after the CEM meeting.

The department said it remains committed to improving learner performance and mitigating the factors that led to a drop in the 2015 matric pass rate.