Microsoft, British Council announce 5-year $2m-partnership, to build 80 digital hubs in Ghana schools, others

Technology giant, Microsoft Corporation and the British Council have today November 8, 2011 signed a new five-year partnership agreement which will see both institutions building 80 digital hubs in schools across six African countries.

The beneficiary countries are Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda.

“Microsoft and the British Council have each committed $1 million to the partnership’s first project, which will build 80 digital hubs at schools across Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda using Windows MultiPoint Server,” said Microsoft in a statement on its website.

The partnership was announced at the ongoing 2011 Partners in Learning Global Forum underway in Washington DC, US. The forum which started November 7 ends November 10. During the event, winners of the 18 Global Forum Educator Awards will be announced, and 18 new Mentor Schools will be recognized at a gala dinner at the Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture.

The project, according to Microsoft, 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 statement noted that the project 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.

This partnership will combine the assets of Microsoft and the British Council 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, it adds.

Commenting, Anthony Salcito, vice president of education at Microsoft Corporation said “The Partners in Learning program is one of the many investments Microsoft is making to help educators more effectively prepare our students for the jobs of tomorrow.”

While chief executive of British Council, Martin Davidson also said “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.”

By Ekow Quandzie

Watch the 2011 Partners in Learning Global Forum

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