Microsoft believes in the power of education to change and affect lives. This value is embodied in the Innovative Teachers & Students National Competition that takes place in Sri Lanka every year in partnership with the Ministry of Education and the Education for Knowledge Society Project (EKSP). This 7-year old national competition is included under a wider scheme called Microsoft Partners in Learning, aimed at using technology to transform lives in the education space worldwide. Those who won the Sri Lanka competition will have the opportunity to join other participants in Asia Pacific’s Innovative Teachers Regional Competition to be scheduled in March 2012 in New Zealand. The 2011 winners were recently announced at the Galadari Hotel Main Ballroom, graced by the honorable Minister of Education Bandula Gunawardena.


Winners of the Sri Lanka Innovative Teachers & Students National Competition

For 2011 alone, the Sri Lankan Ministry of Education (MOE) and Microsoft received a staggering 88,000 entries, proof of the exceptional passion for education and IT of Sri Lankans. The national competition was initially opened for teachers only, but due to the interest shown by students, the MOE allowed them to participate alongside teachers from 2008 onwards. The involvement of both educators and students gave this competition a new dimension, paving the way for Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to be adopted in a more creative and innovative way.

The 2011 competition goes a step further by requiring participants to move away from using Microsoft Office and adopt more advanced software, such as Visual Basic®, Visual Studio®, Moviemaker® Photosynth, Auto Collage and Songsmith®, in addition to the usual Microsoft® Office applications, testing their IT competence and creativity.

Additional Secretary to the Ministry of Education and Project Director of the Education for Knowledge Society Project (EKSP) Mr Anura Dissanayake commented that “our teachers and students have shown amazing creativity in the projects they have submitted in the past. Therefore, our decision to extend the scope of the competition was encouraged by the quality of the entries and the enthusiasm shown by our teachers and students.”

In addition, Mrs Yashinka Jayasinghe Alles, Academic Programmes Manager for Microsoft Sri Lanka, said, “We believe this is the right time to move the competition to a higher level. This would allow our teachers the opportunity to compete on an equal footing when it comes to the regional competition and show the rest of the world that our teachers and students are capable of taking our country to greater heights.” Mrs Alles added, “However, this competition is not just about winning or losing. It is about identifying and adopting more effective teaching methods, and giving the winners the chance to share knowledge and experiences with their counterparts around the world.”

“Our teachers and students have shown amazing creativity in the projects they have submitted in the past. Therefore, our decision to extend the scope of the competition was encouraged by the quality of the entries and the enthusiasm shown by our teachers and students.”
-  Mr Anura Dissanayake, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Education (MOE), and Project Director, Education for Knowledge Society Project (EKSP)
“...this competition is not just about winning or losing. It is about identifying and adopting more effective teaching methods, and giving the winners the chance to share knowledge and experiences with their counterparts around the world.”
-  Mrs Yashinka Jayasinghe Alles, Academic Programmes Manager, Microsoft Sri Lanka