The partnership aims at improving access to and use of ICT in primary, secondary, tertiary and vocational education as well as the value of technology in schools. They will also urge the use of ICT for the support of teaching and learning in schools in a country where just six percent of primary schools and 18 percent of secondary schools are connected to the internet. The agreement with the Rwandan Ministry of Education follows similar agreements that have been signed in Kenya and Uganda.
“At Microsoft, we strongly believe in the role ICT can play in bridging the emerging opportunity divide and guiding youth toward the education, skills and opportunities they need to prosper in the hyper-connected era. Our aim is to help learners and educators throughout the world realize their full potential” says Microsoft Country Manager for East and Southern Africa, Eric Odipo.
Microsoft’s Partners in Learning has invested over $750 million dollars and has already reached 12 million educators in 134 countries worldwide and benefiting over 13 million students in sub-Saharan Africa.
“The Ministry is open to embracing new approaches to teaching and learning to further education quality and the use of technology is at the centre of these approaches. I believe the Partners in Learning Agreement will enhance our capacity to address most issues in education quality.” adds Hon. Dr. Vincent Biruta, Minister of Education.
Microsoft will help the government to provide access to students through programmes and services like Office 365, offer recognition, and strive to make educators feel valued through programs like Microsoft’s Innovative Educators, provide encouragement and inspiration to students through programs such as Imagine Cup, DreamSpark, Kodu, DigiGirlz, which all aim to get students excited about careers in STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) and provide career advancement opportunities through Microsoft’s IT Academy certification.
Mr Odipo adds that the partnership will ensure delivery of services and experiences that bring learning to life in and out of the classroom, allowing education leaders to reimagine how technology can modernize learning.
“Office 365 for education allows educators and students access to an extensive collaborative environment which extends teaching and learning within and beyond the classroom. It enables students and educators to work in real time on assignments and group projects, easily share information, and view and edit documents in a browser or in Office”,.
“The agreement reiterates Microsoft’s belief in empowering the youth in Africa and that this investment can have real impact on the continent and global stage,” adds Akaliza Gara who has recently been appointed as one of the 4Afrika Advisory Council Youth Members.