The WISE Prize for Education


Dr. Madhav Chavan

Position: President, Pratham Education Foundation
Country: India

Dr. Madhav Chavan is Co-Founder and CE-President of Pratham, an organization that reaches three million primary school age children in India every year. He is the 2012 WISE Prize for Education Laureate.

He acquired a Ph.D. in Chemistry at Ohio State University in the US in 1983 and returned to India in 1986 after his post-doctoral work at the University of Houston. In 1989, while teaching at the University of Mumbai, he started mass-scale work for adult literacy in the slums of Mumbai as a part of the National Literacy Mission. In 1994, as a result of a UNICEF initiative, Pratham was set up to address problems of universal primary education in Mumbai. Since then, Dr. Chavan has led the development of the organization and its programs. Pratham has introduced several mass-scale innovations such as the Annual Status of Education Report in the area of assessment and the Read India movement which delivers education to the underprivileged.

Pratham has been recognized by the Kravis Prize and the Skoll Award for its innovativeness and leadership as an organization of social entrepreneurs in the area of education.

Dr. Chavan is a creative individual who has anchored television shows and written songs about human rights and women’s rights. He enjoys working out creative ways to educate or train children and youth. He finds time to work on the challenges of teaching despite his duties as the CEO of a large organization.