Microsoft has announced that four schools in Kenya have been selected as Microsoft Showcase Schools for 2016. These schools are among 42 across Africa that have been identified as experts in personalised learning, enhanced by Microsoft technologies. They will now take on an advisory role in education reforms in their countries.
The four schools are Westlands Primary, Mary Mount Secondary, Maralal Primary and Aga Khan Academy, Mombasa.
The Microsoft Showcase Schools program is an initiative that highlights innovative leadership and teaching across globally recognised schools. Schools are nominated by Microsoft in each region in collaboration with key stakeholders including education experts. Showcase School leadership teams make up a community that has a passion for modernising schools and ensuring students use technology that helps them prepare for their future. This year, schools from Egypt, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, Seychelles, South Africa, Tunisia, Uganda and Zambia were named Microsoft Showcase Schools.
According to Microsoft Kenya Country Manager, Kunle Awosika Microsoft Showcase Schools have a strong passion for modernising schools and ensuring students use technology that prepares them for their future.
“At Microsoft, we believe that technology alone cannot build 21st Century skills. Technology is an accelerator, but it does not enable change on its own.We believe in the power of the teacher and the school leader, and the impact they can have when they are brought together and recognised for their achievements” he adds.
Over the next two years, the Showcase Schools will take on the role of technology in education advisors in the education reform of Kenya. They will be tasked with finding new pedagogical approaches to complement infrastructure and ICT deployments using Microsoft solutions such as Windows devices, Office 365 Education, Office Mix, OneNote and Skype.
According to Abdikadir Ismael, Digital Ambassador, Maralal Primary School, use of technology in the school is slowly changing the way they approach learning.
“Thanks to technology such as Office Mix, teachers have now known how to develop some lessons that students can use even in their absence or that they can review if for some unforeseen reason they miss class,” he adds.
Microsoft plans to continue partnering with like-minded partners, organisations and education stakeholders to identify more schools like Maralal and double the number of Showcase Schools every year.