Besting 60 teachers from all over Asia Pacific, three Filipinos emerged victorious in this year’s Partners in Learning Regional Education Forum conducted by Microsoft in Auckland, New Zealand. This is the first in the history of the Regional Forum that all the representatives of the country win.
Participated in by 14 countries, 63 teachers competed for one country winner each and six categories namely Extended Learning Beyond the Classroom; Collaboration; Knowledge Building & Critical Thinking; Innovation in Challenging Contexts; Cutting Edge Use of Microsoft Technology for Learning; and Educators’ Choice. This forum aims to drive collaboration among educators and school leaders in promoting innovative programs.
“The victory of our Filipino teachers is not an honor just for Microsoft but for the Philippines as a whole. We have yet again showcased the amazing talent of Filipino educators that is deemed among the best in the region, said John Bessey, Managing Director, Microsoft Philippines.
“We at Microsoft have always believed that Filipino educators play key roles in molding the minds of the young to become better individuals as they grow up. I would like to congratulate the three teachers for their commitment and dedication to the academe and for their perseverance to create better learning opportunities to their students. You have all made us proud,” added Bessey.
Their Winning Streak
Microsoft’s Regional Education Forum promotes best practices in education as well as establishing a strong community of innovators worldwide across all levels. It further aims to connect educators and school leaders with one another to network and develop lasting relationships that would encourage collaborative learning from one another.
Her project “Mangrove Planting” proved to be the most effective project among the entries of the Philippines as Shaleen Seraña of Tuan Datu Hadji Abdulla Niño Memorial High School in Zamboanga was hailed the country winner. “I am so blessed that I was able to join in the Microsoft Innovative Teacher Leadership Awards. I am very happy and proud to represent the Philippines in the Regional Competition and now in the Global competition in Greece. A million thanks to Globe Filipino Teachers program, Coalition for Better Education and most of all to Microsoft,” she shared.
Meanwhile, also winning recognitions were Edalyn Olis of Lala National High School in Lanao del Norte for her “E-dokyo Ito” project that won in the Innovation in Challenging Contexts Category and Estelito Mendoza of Baguio National High School for his project, “Learning Beyond the Classroom and Make A Difference” where he was a runner-up.
“Matthew 7:7-8: Seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened, and ask and it will be given. Coming to Auckland, New Zealand gave me the chance to be closer to God. The forum has given me the chance to grow professionally and be with the brightest minds in the Asia Pacific region. The trip is an answered prayer and I’m glad Microsoft was used as an instrument. The victory is a big bonus. God is good all the time,” Olis expressed.
When asked about his experience in the competition, Mendoza shared his enthusiasm, “It is an honor and privilege to represent our country in this program, as well as, to compete with other innovative teachers in the region. This is also a victory of my students and my school. Without them, this wouldn’t be possible, to God be the glory. Thank you to Microsoft for this opportunity,” he said.
On to Greece!
The Microsoft Partners in Learning Program is a global initiative for education that focuses on improving teaching and learning through the effective use of technology in the learning process of students. Seraña will represent the country in the Microsoft Global Forum in Greece.
The Global Forum will be participated in from teachers all over the world who will be able to attend workshops, present their projects to panelists and engage in development programs, which will help them better craft their teaching skills and methods.
“Microsoft has always made it a point to put education at the forefront of our citizenship efforts. Education is one of the important aspects that Microsoft focuses on and we provide opportunities for students and teachers to use their passion, creativity and technology skills to help make a difference in their country as well as the world and realize their full potential,” ended Bessey.