Microsoft Announces Partnerships With British Council, Others

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Microsoft announced a new, five-year partnership with the British Council. This partnership will combine the assets of Microsoft and the British Council to nurture the use of information communications technology. 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.

The 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 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.

Microsoft Partners in Learning, the Smithsonian Institution and TakingITGlobal are also continuing to expand the Shout program, which was announced at last year’s Global Forum in South Africa. The partnership harnesses the power of technology to connect research and education resources with teachers and their students. This year’s program will focus on water quality and quantity.

“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,” said Anthony Salcito, vice president of education at Microsoft Corp. Salcito said Microsoft will collaborate with the U.S. Department of Education to support a campaign aimed at inspiring and recruiting young people to enter the teaching profession. As part of this, Microsoft is assuming overall management of the TEACH website. In the coming months, Microsoft will also be taking the lead in developing a coalition of private-sector companies and other key organizations to further support the campaign and will be moving the site to teach.org.

Partners in Learning is a 10-year, roughly $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, says Microsoft.