By Emeka AginamAt the just concluded Microsoft’s Partners in Learning global forum 2011 held in Washington DC, the software giant in partnership with the British Council have each committed $1 million to build 80 digital hubs at schools across Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda using Windows MultiPoint Server.
Partners in Learning is a 10-year, nearly $500 million commitment by Microsoft to help education systems around the world. Since its inception in 2003, the Partners in Learning program has reached more than 196 million teachers and students in 114 countries.
The capacity building project is expected to train more than 20,000 school leaders and teachers and provide more than 100,000 learners and communities with digital access, while promoting literacy throughout the region.
The project, it was leanrt was inspired by similar work already underway in Africa by the British Council and by a commitment that Microsoft and other partners made at the Clinton Global Initiative in 2010 to build labs powered by Windows MultiPoint Server in 40 lighthouse schools in Haiti, serving 24,000 students.
The software giant’s partnership with the British Council would combine the assets of both organizations to nurture the use of information communications technology for innovative practice in teaching and learning in order to equip millions of students with the knowledge and skills they need for life and work in the 21st century.
This, as several teachers from the continent joined a contingent of exceptional educators to compete and gain recognition at the global level and to share and collaborate on best practices, key learning and how to implement creative ideas.
“I welcome our new partnership with Microsoft, which will enable us to create opportunities for millions of educators and students around the world
“By working together to harness technology for education and training, we can make a powerful contribution to preparing young people throughout the world for life and work in the 21st century.” Martin Davidson, chief executive, British Council said.
Teachers shine at 2011 global forum
The Microsoft Partners in Learning Global Forum is the culmination of a year’s worth of country and regional events honoring teachers and school leaders who are creatively and effectively using technology in their curriculum.
“The Partners in Learning program is one of the many investments Microsoft is making to help educators in Africa more effectively prepare our students for the jobs of tomorrow,” s Emmanuel Onyeje, Country Manager, Microsoft Anglophone West Africa, said adding that , “Today, we’re honouring the many African educators who are working passionately, creatively and tirelessly to help prepare the next generation of leaders, and are cheering on those representing the continent at this year’s Global Forum.”
This year’s winners were selected from more than 115 projects, narrowed from more than 200,000 applicants, who competed at national and regional events over the course of the year to qualify for the worldwide competition at the 2011 partners in learning global forum.