By Richard Adorsu-
NEW AFRICA BUSINESS NEWS (NABN) Accra, Ghana- Microsoft partners with the Ministry of Education in Kenya as well as governments across Africa to transform the education sector.
During an event in London by The Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and hosted by hosted by the UK Government and President Kenyatta of Kenya, Microsoft acknowledged the importance of public and private partnership to enable educators and education leaders to best use technology to dramatically enhance learning and improve outcomes.
“Microsoft has formidable partnership with the Kenya’s Ministry of Education and all its stakeholders that spans over two decades,” said Angela Nganga Microsoft Education Industry Lead, MEA Emerging Markets. “We affirm our commitment to addressing the urgent challenges presented by the global pandemic but most importantly be a strategic and resourceful partner in designing scalable and sustainable solutions for the education sector.”
Since the onset of Covid, digital transformation of education to enable access to quality education has become more critical than ever. At the same time, education financing is at risk as countries have scrambled to rally public funds to support health systems and investments. To address this critical challenge, Microsoft is proud to be working together with the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), the largest global fund solely dedicated to transforming education in lower-income countries.
GPE recently convened governments and the private sector at the highest level online and in London, to commit to education funding of $5 billion over the next 5 years, along with commitments from GPE partner countries on domestic financing for education.
The event attended online and in person by Heads of State from countries including Ghana, Afghanistan, and Nigeria, as well as several European nations, and parts of the private sector also included a round table focusing on the growing role business partners and philanthropy play in addressing challenges related to girls’ education and data.
Led by Julia Gillard, former Australian Prime Minister and Helen Grant, UK’s Special Envoy for Girls’ Ed, this discussion included Microsoft’s Steve Beswick, Education Director for Europe, Middle East & Africa. Heads of State from several countries were in attendance for the meeting in addition to Kenya, including Ghana, Afghanistan, and Nigeria along with serval European leaders.
‘Microsoft is proud to be working with Global Partnership for Education for this new phase of education transformation. We are excited to engage in the Education Data Leadership program (EDLP), an important initiative to enable education systems to gather more accurate education data, analyze it and make use of it in effective decision-making. It will capitalize on the existing investment we are making in countries supported by GPE.” said Beswick.
“Microsoft is one of our highly valued allies in the drive to address partner countries’ needs for strong, clear and actionable education data. Colleagues from Microsoft contributed their expertise to the Education Data Solutions Roundtable, including in developing guidelines for strengthening education management information systems. Now this business partner is similarly providing in-kind its technical know-how to the new Education Data Leadership Program – which will boost the data skills/capabilities of education ministries. Those skills can be game changing, and we’re delighted to have this strong working partnership with Microsoft to help advance education system transformation.” Noted Alice Albright, Chief Executive Officer of GPE.
The EDLP aims to support partner countries to strengthen data competency and enhance its education data management systems. Collaborating with business and country partners, the EDLP will provide the Data Boot Camp to the Ministry of Education data teams—professional development sessions that will elevate skills and produce data leaders. The Bootcamps aim to develop a generation of high-performing education data scientists in GPE partner countries. For the EDLP, the initial key countries identified are Kenya, Uganda, Tajikistan, Nepal, and DRC.
Through Microsoft Office 365 A1 for Education, offered for free to education systems, Microsoft is already supporting GPE beneficiary countries by providing Microsoft Office 365 A1 for Education at no cost to education systems, with an estimated value of several million dollars per year. The EDLP will enable Ministries of Education to leverage data available to them in Office 365 to gain insight into teaching, learning and administration taking place in schools using the platform.
Microsoft will also bring together training and support based around Microsoft’s platform for digital skills training, Microsoft Learn as well as Open Edu Analytics a fully open-sourced data integration and analytics architecture and reference implementation for the education sector.
For New Africa Business News Richard Adorsu Reports, Africa Correspondent
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