Tanzanian teacher awarded for classroom innovation

By Jennifer Brookland

June 6, 2014

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Asha Amour Abrahman, a TZ21 teacher, is the first-ever Global Bridge IT Award winner.

A Teacher at one of Creative’s project schools in Tanzania was awarded the first-of-its-kind Global BridgeIT Award for Teaching Excellence.

President and CEO of the Pearson Foundation Mark Nieker signed a certificate recognizing Asha Amour Abrahman for her “use of innovative and effective teaching strategies, commitment to her students’ education and personal growth, and dedication to her teaching community.”

Abrahman teaches Kiswahili, English, Science, Social Studies, Math and Sports to first graders at the Jadida Primary School school in Zanzibar, a school where Creative’s Tanzania 21st century Basic Education Program (TZ21) is implementing an early-grade reading project with a focus on improving classroom methods.

Teachers in Tanzania are often undertrained and use outdated techniques that leave students disengaged and unmotivated. BridgeIT has worked since 2003 to provide professional development to teachers like Abrahman to help them develop more child-focused, interactive approaches.

TZ21 partnered with BridgeIT in Tanzania to marry technological interventions like laptops and e-content with early grade reading and teacher development. The partnership has created classrooms that are not just connected, but effective in boosting young students’ academic performance and enjoyment.

The project works in 100 schools on the island of Pemba, where Jadida Primary School is located.

Abrahman says she had never been exposed to using Information Communications Technology in the classroom until TZ21 came to her school with training in 2013. She learned about digital literacy and how to incorporate e-content in her lessons, and now spends time helping other teachers in her school do the same.

“The use of ICT in teaching has motivated me and eased my teaching practices,” she says.

In Nieker’s accompanying letter to Abrahman, he complimented her for exemplifying all the qualities that a great teacher should possess. The teacher and her school will receive a small prize.