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Innovative Teachers Recognised By Microsoft

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The global software giant, Microsoft has announced the winners of its annual Microsoft Partners in Learning Middle East and Africa forum, an event that recognises innovative teachers who creatively and effectively use technology in their curriculum to help improve the way students learn.

This year’s winners included John Osigbemhe of Government Secondary School Garki, Abuja, Nigeria who won in the “Extending Learning Outside the Classroom” category, and Saeed Hakeem of Armed Forces Senior High Technical School, Kumasi, Ghana who won in the “Knowledge Building” category. The winners is expected to join two other winners from Mauritius to represent Microsoft West East Central Africa/ Indian Ocean Islands at the Partners in Learning Global Forum in Washington DC, USA on 6th November 2011.

Speaking shortly after the announcement, the excited John Osigbemhe said, “This win means so much to me! With the standard of work showcased by other competitors, I initially was intimidated. I am happy I did not disappoint my students and my country.”

While thanking Microsoft, he said, “The forum afforded me the opportunity to network with other educators as well as learn new things in technology which I hope to pass on to my students.”

John’s project showcased his students’ work on technology and religion. It involved the use of Microsoft multimedia tools like Movie maker and Photostory to make a video which theme centred on religious tolerance. With the video, the students sought to change the perception of other people about another religion other than theirs.

‘Conservation of Energy’ was the theme of Saeed Hakeem’s project. The focus was on how to conserve energy in the school and build a culture of energy conservation in both the students and the immediate community. He deployed Microsoft tools immensely throughout the project and they included Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Publisher, Windows Moviemaker, Microsoft Auto Collage and Microsoft PowerPoint.

These tools were used to design questionnaires, analyze the data, design posters, do a documentary, collage some of the pictures, and design a comprehensive presentation respectively.

The winners were awarded by an international jury of education experts and the projects evaluated in the following five categories: Knowledge Building, Beyond the Classroom, Collaboration, Cutting Edge Use of Technology and Innovation in Challenging Circumstances.

In addition, the teachers will be submitting group projects from their time at the event. These will be judged and announced online.

“At the Partners in Learning Middle East and Africa Forum, Microsoft celebrates significant educational achievements which showcase how technology can help young people thrive and grow, preparing them for jobs tomorrow. These amazing teachers are transforming education by using technology as a means to engage their students and to enhance the effectiveness of their teaching,” James Bernard, World Wide Director for Partners in Learning, said, adding that , “In a region like the Middle East and Africa, where a huge percent of the population are under 25, there is a real need to prioritise education to create a skilled and well-trained workforce, something that is essential for national economic growth. Equipping young people with the right tools, opportunities, knowledge and infrastructure will enable them to create a more bright and hopeful future.”

This years’ annual Microsoft Partners in Learning Middle East and Africa Forum was held in Jordan with more than 200 teachers, school leaders, judges and other educational professionals from more than 25 regional countries in attendance.

“Quality education is not only a basic right but a social imperative. It is the key to economic opportunity, not only for individuals, but for their communities,” Khalil Abdel Massih, Partners in Learning Manager, Microsoft Middle East and Africa, said, adding that , “Nowadays IT is essential for quality education. IT use is the best way to equip students for success in a competitive world. Microsoft is committed to developing innovative ways to use the power of technology to help transform education and we believe that by sharing the experiences of teachers around the world, we will improve the way we educate and learn.”

Participants at the Partners in Learning Middle East and Africa Forum were selected from preceding competitions at a national level. This year, for the first time in Middle East and Africa, the Forum combined the Middle East and Africa countries.






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