The Finnish Centre for Open Systems and Solutions – COSS, awarded the first Open World Hero honorary award at the Openmind conference on October 2nd. The acknowledgement, donated by IBM, is a glass mosaic globe ‘In the Nucleus’ by Virginie Loÿ.
The reason for awarding the prize to the Dream School was that it brings ICT to the everyday life of the schools and keeps the dream of educational equality alive. Its potential for export was also a consideration.
Allan Schneitz and the Dream School Project, were selected among several excellent candidates. According to the the chairman of COSS’ board of directors Jukka Hornborg from Ixonos, the Dream School is worthy the prize because “In this situation it is important to reward projects that make it possible for the public sector to lower costs and improve the service.” Hornborg continues: “This is a great demonstration of an innovative way of tackling the challenges of the public sector today.”
The prize winner Allan Schneitz notes that winning the award is a perfect example of how open source is becoming more and more main stream. This has not always been the case, there have been many sceptics on the way. “Therefore I would like to dedicate this nomination to Principal Riitta Rekiranta from Kasavuori school and my former Director of Education in Kauniainen Antti Rönkä. They both have been fighting for several decades for a better Finnish basic education and they have built up the framework for Dream School. It´s been a privilege to collaborate with such visionary people.” said Schneitz in his acceptance speech.
Also the Finnish National Board of Education was commended. According to Allan Schneitz, “Without their remarkable funding to the project this would not have been possible.” He hopes that the work done for the Dream School leads to greater openness in the public sector in general and in education in particular.
The Dream School project development in Finland continues, and the model has drawn international attention. Model is currently being further developed for international markets in collaboration with Singaporean partners.
Allan Schneitz, Co-ordinator of the Finnish National Dream School project, Kasavuori School
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