Mr. Nwodo Monday Obinna, of Odogbolu Grammer School, Ogun State was among 18 teachers honoured at the recently concluded regional finals of the 2010 Innovative Teacher Awards at the Pan-African Innovative Education Forum which held at the Aga Khan Academy, Mombasa, Kenya.

Winners were recognised for their work in integrating technology into the classroom to prepare students for tomorrow’s workforce and for a lifetime of learning.

The Pan-African Innovative Education Forum is part of Microsoft’s Partners in Learning Program. Each year, thousands of teachers from around the world participate in country-level and regional competitions. After each competition, winners move to the next level, culminating each year at the global summit.
Nwodo won the Judges’ Award with his entry “Hypertension – The Silent Killer”.

Speaking on his award, a visibly excited Nwodo said, “It was an absolute honour to attend the Forum and win! I am particularly happy for the opportunity to showcase my students’ work as well as network with educators from other countries. With the quality of work on display, there is no doubt that technology is truly the catalyst to accelerate development in all spheres of life.”

Selection of winners followed three days of interactive workshops, teacher exhibitions and judging by a renowned panel of African education experts.

The 18 winning teachers were chosen from among the 54 contestants who represented more than 15 countries at the Forum and they will go on to represent Africa at the sixth annual Worldwide Innovative Education Forum taking place in South Africa later this year.

“Gathered in Mombasa were the pioneers of African education,” said Zeid Shubailat, Education Director, Microsoft Middle East and Africa. “We 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 were 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”

First 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 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.

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:

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq ‘MSFT’) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.


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