Gateway College featured in Microsoft’s Annual Flagship Education event

Chairman, Gateway College, Dr Harsha Alles and Team Leader-Change Management, Surani Maithripala were among the speakers invited to present at the Microsoft Education Exchange (E2), in which Microsoft brings together World’s Change Makers – both leaders and educators every year. The discussion based on Leading Transformation: Navigating Change, highlighted how Gateway College manages change and the mechanisms put in place to handle unexpected challenges such as the pandemic. Dr. Alles and Ms. Maithripala were joined in the discussion by Dina Ghobashy, Business Strategy Leader, K12 School Leadership and Programs of Microsoft; and Emily Bell, president of the Georgia Association for Managers in Education Systems and K- 12 IMS Global board member.

Winning entry in the senior category - Mizuki Silva

Gateway College also won the 1 st Runner-up award in the prestigious ‘Tech for Good Challenge’ under the Creative Communicator category at the same event. This challenge is open to MIE (Microsoft Innovative Educator) Experts and Microsoft Showcase Schools that inspire and engage their students to make a difference in their communities and the world. Tech for Good equips students with the digital, emotional, collaborative and cognitive skills needed to be future ready. Ms. Ashra Shibly and her students of the ICT Society of Gateway College Dehiwala won the award for their Digital Art project on the “Beauty of Mother Lanka.” In addition to being a Microsoft Showcase School and an SLT EdTech Specialist School, Gateway College follows a holistic approach and strives to add the ‘A’ into STEM education by incorporating Arts on par with Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. The Artistic experience fuels the creative imagination and provides students with the ability to shape and define their identity and self-expression.

Winning entry in the intermediate category - Hannah Sharmil

Being cognizant of the role of art in digital media, and the rapidly growing opportunities available, the Gateway Schools introduced a Digital Art Competition and exhibition within the school network. The themes of the competition are decided with the intention of inculcating Sri Lankan values and culture in a pluralistic setting and promoting a sense of belonging to the alma mater and the motherland. In 2018, the theme was “Breaking Free - in commemoration of the 70th Independence Day of Sri Lanka”. The theme in 2019 was “Flora & Fauna of Sri Lanka”, and in 2020 was “Sri Lanka in 2025”.

Winning entry in the junior category - Sayuri Dissanayake

This year’s event that was organized by the teachers and students of the ICT Society of Gateway College Dehiwala was ‘’Beauty of Mother Lanka”. Through Flipgrid, the young artists were also able to record a video describing their art. This meant that the audience was able to understand the ideas behind their creations better. This was a novel way of combining technology and art to develop transferable, 21st century skills.

Teachers of Gateway attend two of the most renowned International Education conferences

Five Hundred and Forty teachers of the Gateway Colleges took part in a week long Professional Development programme by attending the World Education Summit and the Microsoft E2 Conference. The Management of Gateway made a decision to give a week’s break to all the teachers to invest their valuable time in Continuous Professional Development (CPD), an important aspect that did not have due attention during the year long Pandemic. In doing so, Gateway invested substantially to enroll its teachers in these conferences that were held online this year.

The World Education Summit (WES) is a 4-day event that is considered to be one of the best, biggest and costliest educational summits in the world that celebrates achievements and developments in education with provocative and stimulating debates on current and emerging challenges. The event provides access to over 100 hours of professional learning on demand for a full year, under 10 unique themes: impact, values, digital, culture, cognition, curriculum & assessment, inclusion & support, inspection & turnaround, implementation & evaluation and talent development. This year’s summit featured over 200 speakers from around the world, including education giants such as Professor John Hattie, Professor Dylan Wiliam, Professor Guy Claxton, Dr Shirley Clarke, Professor Sugata Mitra, Professor Michael Fullan, Sadhguru and Dame Alison Peacock to name a few.

Education Exchange or E2 as it’s popularly known, is Microsoft’s flagship Education event that is held every year exclusively for exceptional MIE (Microsoft Innovative Educator) Experts. Being the only Microsoft Showcase School in Sri Lanka and one among only 325 in the world, Gateway took the advantage of enrolling all its teachers since this year’s conference was open to all Educators. In fact, 2021 has been very significant to the Gateway Colleges since a hundred of their teachers were recognized by Microsoft as MIE Experts. The event offered an unparalleled opportunity to learn together and celebrate the achievements of extraordinary changemakers--both leaders and educators--who are transforming education to ensure students can achieve more in their lives today and in the future. The event offered 5 tracks of learning: Build your career, Student-centered learning, STEM, Student engagement & well-being and School & System leadership.

Education itself continuously evolves and has been transformed over the course of the past three decades by the digital revolution. Gateway stays abreast of these developments by encouraging and giving prominence to the CPD of staff. Research and study of education systems and standards across the globe helps the school discover new trends, better methodologies, and innovative approaches.

Teachers of Gateway are expected to log their training hours through the Performance Management Portal which enables them and the school to track progress. They do not stop with their initial educational qualifications or prior teaching experience: instead engage in Continuous Professional Development (CPD) throughout their careers. Discussing plans for next year, during which Gateway College will celebrate her ‘Silver Jubilee’, Gateway’s Chairman says that Gateway is, and will always be, ‘a Place for Every Member of Staff to Grow’.

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