Tech training offers second chance

Microsoft is working with Dubai Police and Dubai eGovernment to provide technical training to prisoners, helping them to become productive members of the community once they are released.

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By  Peter Branton Published  January 18, 2004

Microsoft is working with Dubai Police and Dubai eGovernment to provide technical training to prisoners, helping them to become productive members of the community once they are released. The scheme is part of its global Unlimited Potential initiative. The first Microsoft training centres have been opened in two correctional facilities in Dubai, the Drug Rehabilitation Program Center in Al Awir and at the Central Prison in Jumeira. In co-ordination with Dubai Police and Dubai eGovernment, as well as New Horizons-HUMANSOFT, both centers will provide prisoners with the equipment to undertake technology training courses, allowing them to enhance their professional skills. “Thanks to the vision of His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince and UAE Defense Minister, information technology culture is being incorporated across all public and private entities in Dubai. Prisons are no exception,” said His Excellency Lieutenant General Dahi Khalfan Tamim, Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police. “We are giving prisoners a great opportunity to acquire a skill that can help them not only be part of society again, but also be able to positively contribute to the growth and development of the entire community they live in. We are very proud of this achievement and believe we will see a positive outcome as a result.” Each centre accommodates 20 trainees. Eight technical instructors from Dubai police are participating in Microsoft training from New Horizons- Humansoft so that they can coach the prisoners on basic computer skills and operations, as well as common business productivity applications including Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. “We believe that once the right tools are presented, anyone can become a dynamic, contributing member of society. These libraries will give prisoners the chance to acquire IT skills that can be put to use in the workplace, as well as help to empower them with a wider understanding of information technology,” said Abdullatif Almulla, General Manager of Microsoft South Gulf. The Microsoft contribution consisted of PCs, servers and software for each center including licenses of Microsoft Windows XP and Microsoft Office XP, as well as a specialized community training curriculum. Additionally, Microsoft provided Step by Step training manuals, and have committed to ongoing technical and marketing support. “Microsoft has a history of successful initiatives with the all the participants in this project, and welcome partnerships which give us the opportunity to work together for the good of the community. We are looking forward towards more future cooperation with Dubai Police and the rest of the UAE public departments,” Almulla added.

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