Under the Patronage of the Minister of Education, His Excellency Dr. Tayseer Al-Nahar Al Noaimi, the annual Partners in Learning Middle East and Africa Forum, which will take place from 7-9 September in Aqaba, Jordan, celebrates the success of more than 200 educational professionals from over 25 regional countries in implementing innovative approaches that will ultimately improve the learning outcome of education systems with a focus on 21st century skills.
Mr. Khalil Abdel Massih, Microsoft Middle East and Africa Regional Lead for Partners in Learning, “The Partners in Learning MEA Forum highlights Microsoft’s commitment to expand the power of education through the use and adoption of technology in education, and we are honored to be celebrating the impressive work of educators and schools from across the region who are making every effort to transform and improve the learning outcome in their institutions. It is a great source of pride to see so many talented educators, school principals and delegates from the Middle East and Africa participate in the Forum and be recognized for introducing 21st century learning into their own classrooms, making them a part of a student’s learning environment.”
“Microsoft strives to create educational experiences that remove boundaries and bring students, teachers, educational policy makers and employers closer. We believe that technology is an important enabler in education, supporting students to gain the necessary skills to thrive in the 21st century,” said Husni Khuffash, Microsoft Jordan Country Manager. “Jordan has a strong history of investment in technology and education, as well as a vision for education as a catalyst for social and economic development. We are proud to be supporting regional growth in Jordan and are confident that the event will contribute to the success in integrating 21st century technology into teaching and learning practices across schools in the Middle East and Africa.”
Haif Bannayan, CEO of the Jordan Education Initiative, stated, “This is the third year running that the JEI joins Microsoft as their education partner in planning and executing the regional IEF, and each year this event gets bigger and better, and we are proud of this partnership and proud of being able to be part of Microsoft’s effort to bring innovative teachers and schools from different countries to collaborate, and communicate, breaking geographical, cultural and language boundaries over an intense two day forum. This year our excitement is much bigger because the event is being hosted in Aqaba – Jordan, whereby over 140 educators from 25 countries from the Middle East and Africa are coming to our country. During the conference the educators will be exposed to latest trends in integrating technology in education and will develop projects and lesson plans inspired from site visits arranged for them, to the Citadel, the Red Sea Institute of Cinematic Arts, and Aqaba Marine Science station.”
In addition to workshops and an exhibition of all the participating schools and educators projects, the two day forum will include executive speeches by James Bernard, Microsoft Worldwide Director for Partners in Learning and Mr. Khalil Abdel Massih.
A number of different awards for outstanding projects in various categories will be rewarded to the participants by an international jury of education experts. Those who demonstrate the most innovative teaching practices using technology are then selected to attend the Partners in Learning Global Forum that will be held in Washington DC on November 6.
The MEA Forum is the culmination of a series of country-level events that took place throughout the year. Teachers competed to receive one of twelve innovative teaching awards in four key categories, and they had already been chosen as winners in their local events.
“The Forum is not just a mere exhibition of our successes and gains. It’s much bigger than that— it’s a vivid discussion, exchange of experience, elaboration of some new teaching techniques, methods and areas, and in this concern, I believe the Forum will be really useful to all of us”, said Jordanian Teacher Mrs. Suhair Amin Abu Hamad.
The Jordanian educational professionals that are participating in the forum include Ahmad Daasan, an Arabic teacher from Salah Deen Secondary School, Suhair Abu Hamad, an Arabic teacher from Um- Kolthoum School, Amani Hamasha, an IT teacher at Nuzha Secondary School, Ruqyyah Al- Jorishi, an Arabic teacher at Queen Rania Secondary School, Nada Obaidi, a biology teacher from Safana Bint Hatem School, Hanaa Omar an IT teacher from Heraf Nasawaeyyeh School, Fatima Al- Alem, an IT teacher from Huraima Secondary School, Amal Oudat, an IT teacher from Queen Rania School, Heba Soufan, a math teacher from Queen Rania School, Rawan Mouhaisen, a math teacher from Princess Taghreed School, Walaa Ghanayem, a chemistry and biology teacher from Khawla Bint Al-Azwar School, Iman Zghoul from Princess Rahmeh School, and Jumana Akili, a Geography teacher from Princess Taghreed School.
Since 2003, Microsoft has been actively involved in education through the international Partners in Learning Program. In Jordan alone, Microsoft has implemented the Program in partnership with the Jordan Education Initiative and the Ministry of Education to support innovation in teaching and learning through the following: assisting in the professional development of more than 30,000 teachers, implementing the Regional School Technology Innovation Center between 2003-2008, providing access and connectivity to Jordanians despite their economic status and geographical location, a successful implementation of the Innovative Schools Program, and participating in the regional and worldwide Partners in Learning Forums with runner-ups and winners in both competitions.