" ITREALMS: Info-economy rests on qualitative education – Microsoft

ob Ad

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Info-economy rests on qualitative education – Microsoft

Country Manager for Nigeria at Microsoft, Mr. Chinenye Mba-Uzoukwu, has said that global information economy rests on qualitative education system.

Speaking at the company’s plan to introduce products focusing on scaling up the social and economic opportunity to boost livelihood of about five billion globally, Mr. Mba-Uzoukwu, underscored education as the bedrock for sustaining the efforts being made on global information economy.

“In the global information economy, the future prospects of individuals and entire nations rest on the quality of education available to them,” he asserted.

His declaration came handy as the chairman of Microsoft, Mr. Bill Gates told audience at the Government Leaders Forum (GLF) in Beijing, China, that Microsoft’s ‘Unlimited Potential’ initiative would be used to influence over 5 billion people worldwide.

“All human beings deserve a chance to achieve their full potential,” said Gates at the GLF. “Bringing the benefits of technology to the next five billion people will require new products that meet the needs of underserved communities; creative, new business approaches that make technology more relevant, accessible and affordable; and close collaboration between local governments, educational institutions and community organisations,” he said.

Also speaking, Regional General Manager at Microsoft for West, East & Central Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands, Mr. Thomas Hansen, noted that through this expansion of Unlimited Potential, Microsoft is increasing its long-term commitment to use technology, training and partnerships to improve education, accelerate innovation, enable jobs and enable sustainable social and economic growth – around the world and here in Africa.

The expansion of Unlimited Potential will focus on three areas, namely education, innovation, and jobs and economic opportunity.

In the area of education, the company’s five-year, $250 million investment in its Partners in Learning (PiL) programme is already active in 101 countries.

Training has equipped 2.5 million teachers and reached more than 57 million students across these countries.

Across Africa, more than 15 countries have PiL agreements with Microsoft, including Nigeria under which the recently signed Strategic Partnership Agreement, would provide the FGN with local resources to deliver ICT skills training and curriculum leadership to educational institutions.

Through PiL, Microsoft will make its new Student Innovation Suite available in the second half of 2007.

The suite is an affordable and reliable software package for those governments that purchase and give Windows-based PCs to primary and secondary students for their personal use at home and for schoolwork.

Microsoft also announced plans to increase its participation with Microsoft Innovation Centres over the next two years and anticipates opening and supporting 200 centres in an additional 25 countries, including Nigeria, by 2009.

Microsoft Innovation Centres provide local software communities with a set of programmes and services to expand people’s skills - helping to create jobs, strengthen innovation and improve competitiveness.

In the area of enabling jobs and opportunities, Microsoft is working with governments and industry leaders to accelerate skills development and help employers find qualified candidates.

ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D

No comments: