By: Marc McIlhone – AfricanBrains
In 2010 Microsoft and The British Council teamed up to provide digital hubs in schools throughout Africa. Since the launch of the programme they have set up 80 hubs in 16 countries across Sub Saharan Africa and in 2012 intend to set up 90 more in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Ghana and Nigeria.
According to the British Council Director of Programmes Mutuku Nguli the project is expected to train more than 20,000 school leaders and teachers across Sub Saharan Africa and provide more than 100,000 learners and communities with digital access, whilst also promoting literacy. “We formed this partnership (with Microsoft) based on the complementary expertise in technology and internationalism in education. We seek to combine expertise in order to increase innovative teaching and learning practices and better prepare young people for life and work in the 21st century”.
Microsoft Academic Programmes Manager Alex Nyingi also pointed out that they had committed nearly $500 million to help education systems in the world under its Partners in Learning Project. He also said that since the project’s inception in 2003, they have reached more than 196 million teachers and students in 114 countries. “Our main aim is to see that students, teachers and the community as a whole living in today’s increasing digital and connected world have ICT skills,” he said.
A Digital Hub is an established standard room properly managed with adequate protection, ventilation and IT equipment. Each digital hub consists of approximately 20 terminals and is accessible both to the host schools and a cluster of surrounding schools (up to 10).
Alongside the hubs are the relevant content, training and management provided to serve the needs of a large number of schools and communities. Content offer includes education system based curriculum, e-books, 3D, English Language Training products & Services, and Schools Online – a central portal for finding and working with partner schools in other countries.
Networks of Digital Ambassadors have been drawn from practitioners and other education professionals with experience in successful, creative uses of ICT for teaching and learning. These people have been equipped with technical support and training necessary for cascading ongoing professional development in ICT skills to other teachers.
Click to see:- British Council Schools Digital Hubs in Sub Saharan Africa