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Gayaza High School wins Microsoft ICT award PDF Print E-mail

Gayaza High School in Uganda was one of three schools around the world that walked away with funding from Microsoft during the company's new Pitch Competition, which was presented at the close of the 2014 Microsoft in Education Global Forum last week.
The school received $15,000 for its innovative use of technology in helping local entrepreneurs.


Microsoft launched the Pitch Competition to seek out and fund the most innovative ideas from school leaders worldwide.

Gayaza High School has been using its technology centre to provide local entrepreneurs access to computer programs and the internet to market their businesses, build websites, monitor profits and manage their accounts.
Gayaza's Competition pitch looked to further document these entrepreneurs, by creating an online portal of best practices with links to videos showing the production processes of small-scale local enterprises in Uganda.
"Youth today are being encouraged to be job creators and not job seekers. Our project will provide lifelong learning and we anticipate that it will inspire students to begin their own enterprises, or manage ICT marketing activities within any given organisation," says Ronald Ndungu, head teacher of the school.
Gayaza's Pitch video was one of six finalists, and one of three from around the globe that secured funding.

 


In addition, in partnership with the British Council, Gayaza and the five other finalists will be incorporated into YouthSpark's Global Giving charity fundraising website, which gives social entrepreneurs and non-profits from anywhere in the world a chance to raise the money that they need to improve their communities.
"I am very proud to have been named a winner in The Pitch Competition and to have true education leaders recognise my ideas," said Ndungu.
"I'm excited to be able to make our idea a reality and to begin developing it with this funding. This is a truly unique opportunity to drive education forward.  With so many great ideas at the event, not just in this competition, I know that nearly all of the educators and education leaders will come away from the event with new and exciting plans for their classes."
This was the first year The Pitch Competition was held.

It aims to provide a much-needed opportunity for school leaders to tap into grant funding and broaden the worldwide goal of education reform.
"All judges at The Pitch were using the format for the first time, but any anxieties we might have had evaporated in the pleasure of the event, and in the creativity and sharing spirit of the teachers and their students," said Merlin John, education journalist and The Pitch judge.
"We are confident that there will be a substantial impact from all the projects that came before us and we will be following their progress closely."
"Our goal with The Pitch was to promote ideas that improve learning experiences and inspire students to succeed," said Anthony Salcito, Vice President of Education at Microsoft.
"The winners exemplify the pioneering spirit of the Global Forum, and we're looking forward to seeing these projects come to life."
The Microsoft in Education Global Forum is one of the world's leading education technology events, which has grown 25% year-on-year.
The Forum unites over 1,100 attendees, including 150 government education leaders, private sector executives, 250 educators and 75 mentor school leaders.
This year, eight of the educators were from sub-Saharan Africa, and joined the world's best to share ideas on how to solve the challenges that the sector is currently facing.

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