By Emeka Aginam
For enhancing student success through innovative use of technology in the classroom, the software giant, Microsoft, yesterday announced that 18 educators from Nigeria, Ghana, Jordan, Mauritius, Oman, Pakistan, Lebanon, Qatar, Turkey, South Africa, Egypt, UAE, Lesotho, Saudi Arabia, Uganda and Morocco will represent the Middle East and Africa in the Partners in Learning Global forum  which will take place in Prague, Czech Republic from November 28 to December 1 2012.

The 18 educators had 15 project winners and a recognized top Moroccan host country project. The projects were selected from 90 projects, having previously competed at national Forums in their home countries.

A distinguished panel of regional judges including representatives from Nigeria, Saudi, Egypt, Oman, South Africa, Lesotho, Jordan, Turkey, Indian Ocean Islands and Morocco — evaluated the 90 educator projects.

31 Middle East and Africa finalists were announced followed by the award to the 15 winning projects.

Meanwhile, the innovative educators are not limited to the following: Ayodele Odeogbola from Abeokuta Grammar School, Nigeria for Rescue Mission, Sarah Adei from Ghana for Child Labour; A Child’s Perspective, Ghadeer Obaidat and Rania Obaidat from Jordan for Glimmer of Hope, Deoranee Sunno from Mauritius for Science for Eco- Learners, Jamila Al Ghafri from Oman for Tell me a story, Munazza Riaz from Pakistan for Aqua Crunch, Yosser Alchidiak from Lebanon for Warak Warak Method, Tamer Farghaly from Qatar for Robots in math and science, OzlemPaker from Turkey for Communications and the Digital Natives, Charli Wiggill from South Africa for Braille Memory Game and Toys for the Blind, Tamer El Kady and Walid Ibrahim from Egypt for One Human, One Planet, Praveen Afroaz from UAE for World Wild Web, Lucille Kabelo Mahlatsi from Lesotho for Literature at our fingertips, Mona Alkhodairi from Saudi Arabia for Save the Planet and
Chole Richard from Uganda for Youth Voices.

However, Morocco, host country, top project: Rakkane Abdallah for Second world war books.

“As educators, we take great pride and joy in watching our students improve their academic performance and go on to take active roles in society.

“To enable that progress, it is important for us to keep up with the latest teaching methods and tools, and give students the confidence to use these 21st Century skills,” Ayodele Odeogbola, Nigeria, Abeokuta Grammar School, one of the awarded teachers at the Forum, said

Adding that , “The Partners in Learning Forum gives educators a unique opportunity to come together and celebrate our successes, and learn new approaches and methods from our colleagues.

I’m excited to go back to Nigeria and share these experiences with my colleagues and students.”

“The annual Partners in Learning Middle East and Africa Forum in Morocco is yet another example of our commitment to, and investment in improving learning experiences, with the help of technology and trusted educators in the region.

I am very grateful for the Ministry of Education of Morocco’s partnership and the enormous support it has provided in hosting the Forum,” Isam Shahwan, Education Director, Microsoft Middle East and Africa, said ading that, “All the winning projects from the Middle East and Africa have the potential to transform education and contribute to the social and economic development of the region.

Microsoft will continue to follow the achievements of these educators and support them along the way. ”

“Every year it is inspiring to see how these incredibly passionate educators embrace technology, helping to transform learning in their classrooms and education in their local communities. After all, ICT is an essential tool for quality education, and quality education ultimately leads to a better future for students and their countries, “ Khalil Abdel Massih, Partners in Learning Manager, Microsoft Middle East and Africa, said.

According to Massih, “Microsoft is honored to recognize the creative professionals across Middle East and Africa who are driving innovation to empower young people in the region. I wish this year’s winners the best of luck in the Global Forum and encourage them to continue sharing the best practices across their countries and globally.”

The annual Microsoft Partners in Learning Middle East and Africa Forum took place in Marrakech, Morocco this year bringing together 225 educators, school leaders and educational professionals from 26 countries. The Partners in Learning Middle East and Africa Forum is one of a series of regional forums taking place around the world.

The event recognizes innovative educators who creatively and effectively use technology in their classroom to engage students and provide them with 21st century skills that will set them for success.

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