Microsoft takes the initiative

Joins GEMS schools in UAE for online projects

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By  Published  December 16, 2006

Microsoft has teamed up with GEMS Education, a network of international schools, to develop a series of educational initiatives for the UAE.

The regional subsidiary of Microsoft has collaborated with GEMS to implement an advanced learning scheme in schools that are part of the GEMS network within the region.

The first initiative, the ‘State of the Art Education Solutions’ project, will see the launch of an integrated framework in schools.

The project will provide simultaneous access for students, parents and teachers to online classroom material.

Giving a new dynamic to education, students will be able to access online lessons and tutorials and engage in new ways of learning, such as participating in online group work.

Parents will be able to log on to a web site and track the progress of their offspring on a daily basis, while teachers will be able to participate in parent-teacher dialogues online.

A second initiative from the collaboration, believed to be the first of its kind in the region, will be the development of a ‘school of the future: described by GEMS as a visionary educational model that is rooted in empowering the school community through continuous, adaptive and relevant learning.

The project, which will be supported through Microsoft- certified training for teachers and which will involve the installation of Microsoft certified ICT labs, aims to encourage students to take personality responsibility for their progress in addition to following a class-based programme.

“We believe that these new initiatives will bring learning and teaching to a higher standard, one that is more reflective of the needs of the next decade.

“This move supports GEMS core value of forward thinking, equipping our students to meet the challenges of the future and to further strengthen the teacher-student-parent partnership in a child’s development and learning,” claimed Sunny Varkey, chairman of GEMS Education.

“Microsoft believes that ICT can accelerate the delivery of education, presenting real opportunities for economic and social advancement in even the poorest countries,” commented Charbel Fakhoury, general manager at Microsoft Gulf.

“Today’s students are tomorrow’s business leaders, and we are very excited about working with GEMS to scale up education,” he added.

There are 65 schools around the globe that use the GEMS model and offer its unique form of learning to nearly 65,000 students in 124 countries worldwide.

The first phase of the Microsoft projects is due to start in 2007.

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