Ballmer focuses on education

Expanded digital inclusion effort brings localised tools and technology to educators and students, programmes support work force and community development across the region, according to software giant Microsoft.

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By  Angela Prasad Published  April 27, 2005

Students, teachers and communities around the Middle East stand to benefit from a series of Microsoft educational solutions, says Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who was speaking at the recent Government Leader’s Forum Arabia 2005 (GLF) held in Dubai. The education programmes are part of a broad Microsoft effort to increase access to technology and technology skills in schools and communities throughout the Middle East. Three key initiatives: Learning Gateway for Higher Education, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Digital Curriculum through Microsoft’s alliance with the Jordanian government, and the Innovative Teachers Network — will give the region’s educators, students and communities opportunities to learn new skills and share best practices. In addition, Microsoft has also announced that seven organisations —in Bahrain, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco and Tunisia — will receive Unlimited Potential (UP) grants that will support technology education. The company’s goal is to bring the benefits of technology and technology skills to more than 250 million people by 2010. “Microsoft’s goal over the next five years is to help 250 million people worldwide realise their potential through access to technology and technology skills,” Ballmer says. “The announcement is part of our commitment to this goal. Seventeen countries throughout the Middle East have joined our Partners in Learning program, and are already benefiting from greater access to information and communications technology.” All three education initiatives are available in Arabic and have been developed in partnership with key stakeholders to ensure that they offer practical support and lifelong learning opportunities tailored to meet the region’s needs. The GLF was a two-day event that brought together more than 120 high-level government officials and business leaders from across the Middle East. The goal of the forum was to drive discussion around how the private sector can work in cooperation with local, regional and central governments to explore the partnerships necessary for growth through technology.

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