Microsoft Honours 18 Teachers at 2010 Pan-African Innovative Education Forum

Following three days of interactive workshops, teacher exhibitions and judging by a renowned panel of African education experts, Microsoft Partners in Learning announced the regional winners of the 2010 Innovative Teacher Awards at the Pan-African Innovative Education Forum. Hosted at the Aga Khan Academy, Mombasa, Microsoft recognised and rewarded teachers that demonstrated exemplary uses of technology in the classroom to improve student learning. The 18 winning teachers were chosen from among the 54 representing more than 15 countries at the Forum and will go on to represent Africa at the sixth annual Worldwide Innovative Education Forum being held in South Africa later this year.

“Gathered here in Mombasa are the pioneers of African education,” said Zeid Shubailat, Education Director, Microsoft Middle East and Africa. “We are here to celebrate the impressive work that these teachers and school leaders are doing to help every student in African realize their full potential.”

The Africa Best Practice winners in the four main competition categories are Samuel Avornyor of Ghana, Innovation in Community; Linda Bradfield of South Africa, Innovation in Collaboration; Warren Sparrow of South Africa, Innovation in Content; and Lilian Ofori-Asare of Lesotho, Educators’ Choice Award. Several teachers were also nominated for the Judges’ Award. In finishing order, the following teachers awarded first, second and third place in each category are:

Innovation in Community

  • Best Practice: Samuel Avornyor (Ghana), “Rural Food Processing Industries”
  • First Runner-Up: Nandini Sukhoo-Busawon (Mauritius), “Endemic Plants””
  • Second Runner-Up: Preesheila Singh-Ujoodha (Mauritius), “Wellness and Fitness for Life”

Innovation in Collaboration

  • Best Practice: Linda Bradfield (South Africa), “Trash to Treasure”
  • First Runner-Up: Sunia Dokter, Shireen Persens, Ngaka Ralekoala, Lehentse Seekoei (South Africa), “Children Who Care”

Innovation in Content

  • Best Practice: Warren Sparrow (South Africa), “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?”
  • First Runner-Up: Anthony Gioko (Kenya), “Publishing on the Web”
  • Second Runner-Up: Jonathan Serunkuma (Uganda), “Art for a Better Environment”

Educators’ Choice Award

  • Best Practice: Lilian Ofori-Asare (Lesotho), “Amazing Maize”
  • Second Runners-Up: David Onyango (Kenya), “Combating Climate Change;” Hobilalaina Yvette Fidelys Fanantenana (Madagascar) “Creating Multimedia Didactic Support;” Chris Gatsi (South Africa) “Zero Tolerance for Bribery Campaign”

Judges’ Award

  • Best Practice: Berlina Mokhakala (Lesotho), “Effects of Migration;” Jeffrey Nanty (Seychelles), Will the Sand Ever Come Back?;” Nwodo Monday Obinna (Nigeria), “Hypertension – The Silent Killer”

The winners announced tonight at the gala ceremony in Mombasa, Kenya, will next meet at the Worldwide Innovative Education Forum on 25-30 October 2010 in Cape Town, South Africa. Held for the first time on the continent, the Worldwide Forum will host approximately 150 teachers from over 100 countries to help create global communities of educators that can share ideas and best practices with their peers.

“It is an absolute honour to be a finalist for the Innovation in Content award in the company of so many amazing teachers,” said Anthony Gioko, a teacher at the Aga Khan Academy, Mombasa. “I will tell my students this is like playing in the World Cup, but better – it’s for teachers!”

Since 2008 in Africa, the Partners in Learning Forum has rewarded individuals for excellence in teaching. To enter the competition, teachers are asked to submit a relevant project for their students using multimedia tools, such as audio, video, or photo, for local Innovative Teachers Forums. The winning teachers of these local events go on to the regional competition where the judging community includes education experts from across the continent. At this year’s Pan-African Innovative Education Forum, 13 judges representing 9 countries spent nearly 20 hours talking to the teachers and learning about their projects before deliberating and selecting the final winners to represent Africa at the worldwide event.

At the Forum in Mombasa, school leaders from 1 Mentor and 9 Pathfinder Schools also participated in a three-day workshop where they were recognised for their leadership in driving system-level educational reform in Africa. By sharing their best practices and innovations, these Mentor and Pathfinder Schools have demonstrated replicable education models other schools in Africa, and around the world, can follow.

“Leadership in education requires a passion for innovation, but more importantly, it calls for collaboration,” said Rob Burrough, Head of Academy, Aga Khan Academy, Mombasa, the host of the Forum and Africa’s first Mentor School. “We have the responsibility to share our discoveries with schools that have fewer resources than our own to multiply the innovation effect for more teachers and more students.”

More information about the Mentor and Pathfinder Schools participating in the Microsoft Innovative Schools program and details of each of the teachers’ entries to the 2010 Pan-African Innovative Education Forum can be found by joining the Microsoft Partners in Learning Network: http://

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Written by Robert

Robert Alai is a respected Kenyan blogger, technical evangelist, and social justice activist. Robert is known for his hard-hitting articles and opinions disseminated through his Twitter handle or Facebook page. he is the founder of KahawaTungu.


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