Mobilink has made Pakistan proud by winning GSMA Global Mobile Award at Mobile World Congress 2013 in Barcelona.
Mobilink’s SMS Based Literacy program won in the category of “Best Mobile Education or Learning Product or Service”, beating four other services – contesting in the same category.
Rashid Khan, CEO of Mobilink, collected the award at an Award Distribution ceremony that was held yesterday in Barcelona.
Judges, while awarding Mobilink, commented that Mobilink’s SMS Based Literacy Program is an excellent and needed mobile initiative with an explicit educational ideology that opens up new learning opportunities for a disadvantaged, rural group.
Mobilink’s SMS Based Literacy Program was a joint venture of Mobilink Foundation as the technical facilitator / United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as the implementation agency / Two Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), namely Dhaka Ahsania Mission Pakistan and Bunyad as project executors.
As the technical facilitator, Mobilink Foundation provided activated SIM cards / numbers for each teacher and learner to communicate. Till date, the SMS Based Literacy program has reached out to 4,000 learners who have been provided basic literacy skills by communicating with teachers through SMS based interactive lessons.
Telenor Pakistan and UBL Omni were also contesting for the Global Mobile Awards this year. Previously Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) under the chairmanship of Shahzada Alam had won the Best Government Leadership Award; then UBL Omni won 1st rank slot last year for Transparent and Efficient Cash Disbursement Service after the 2009 IDPs Crisis and the 2010 Flood Crisis.
It merits mentioning here that this was first ever nomination by Mobilink in the Global Mobile Awards. Mobilink has dedicated this award to the women of the country.
Below is the official statement from Mobilink:
Mobilink Foundation’s ‘SMS Based Literacy’ program has won the GSMA’s Global Mobile Awards 2013. Mobilink Foundation was amongst 158 nominees across thirty seven (37) categories, selected from over 600 high-quality entries from across the global mobile ecosystem.
Mobilink Foundation’s ‘SMS Based Literacy’ program won in the inaugural ‘Connected Life Awards’ category, and was acknowledged as the ‘Best Mobile Education or Learning Product or Service’. The program, which is Mobilink Foundation’s flagship corporate responsibility project aimed at educating rural Pakistan was highlighted by the competition’s jury as an “Excellent and needed mobile initiative with an explicit educational ideology that opens up new learning opportunities for a disadvantaged, rural group.”
Rashid Khan, President & CEO, Mobilink, emphasized, “This award by the GSMA has highlighted Mobilink’s dedication to Pakistan over the course of nearly two decades, and is a testament to our commitment to the country. I feel honored to have received this award on behalf of Mobilink and the people of Pakistan and am grateful for the encouraging feedback received from our peers in the global mobile industry. The award recognizes Pakistan’s capacity to innovate in the pursuit of education as a means of improving lives across the country.”
John Hoffman, CEO, GSMA, added, “Through these awards, we are proud to shine the light on the mobile industry’s many innovators and leaders, from all corners of the world. This year’s new categories reflected the industry’s reach into many new sectors and we received more than 600 high-quality entries from across the mobile ecosystem. We would like to congratulate all Global Mobile Awards winners and thank the many hundreds of companies and organisations that support these awards by entering each year.”
‘SMS Based Literacy’ was launched in May 2009 in collaboration with UNESCO, and is the first and the only service in Pakistan that utilizes Short Messaging Service (SMS) to impart education. The program is currently in its third phase and is being implemented in the provinces of Punjab and Khyber Pukhtunkhwa of Pakistan; till date, it has reached out to over 4,000 learners across Pakistan.
The Global Mobile Awards aim to recognize excellence and innovation within the mobile communications industry. The awards for 2013 were presented at the GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.