A Programme to empower the Youth of Africa on Educational GroundsPosted: March 6, 2014
Education has always been a matter of concern in developing nations, but with technology, I can see the inadequacy being addressed. In no way do I believe that education is backward in these countries but resources are definitely lacking. So, with just a little help from technological giants, developing nations can surely meet the necessities for developing nations. As an educator myself, I keep looking in the news for new innovations that can really help the youth receive good quality education. The other day, I came across a piece of news that really made me happy.
The initiative and its aim
In association with the Kenya Private Schools Alliance and Intel Corporation East Africa, Microsoft has declared that they will launch the Youth Device Program will also make available educational applications, reasonably priced devices, reasonable data plans, online services, smart financing, etc. to learning institutions in Kenya.
This is reportedly part of the Youth Initiative by Microsoft 4Afrika. This initiative was started earlier this year which aimed to provide fellowships, scholarships and internships to the youth of Africa. Also, this Youth Device Program will help other countries in Africa like, Nigeria, South Africa and Egypt soon after it has been initiated in Kenya. The programme aspires to reach out to the youth of Africa with advanced skills and also help educators and students of African countries understand and apply digital advancements.
What is the new programme all about?
As a part of the programme, a variety of Intel and Microsoft services and devices will be made available in various form factors. Each of these will be loaded with applications pertaining to education like the complete Office 365 suite, Explore & Learn from Intel and Skype. The devices which will be based on architecture by Intel will be constructed for education purposes. These devices will be rugged and student-friendly, dust and water resistant, and will encourage learning anywhere, anytime.
More about these devices
These education devices will be distributed on a local basis by Mitsumi Distribution and will be made available from various manufacturers. Intel and Microsoft will also aim to provide training for the teachers, via Microsoft’s Teach with Technology course and the Intel Teach curriculum, on the ICT integration. They aim not only to provide reasonable devices that are equipped with online services and educational applications but also to provide experiences that are loved by educators and students, and support and training that is required for the education ecosystem.
Various customised finance option will also be made available to ease out the purchases made. Tailor-made and convenient data plans will also be offered to help the youth and educators avail these services and devices with ease.
Some of the applications that will be on offer are:
- Educational games
- Khan Academy suite
- Digital books
- Intel Explore & Learn
- Office 365 including PowerPoint, Word, Explore
- Skype in the classroom
On reading this piece of news I was very glad that disadvantaged students are being addressed on the digital platform to improve the education system. As an educator, I couldn’t be happier on these advancements.
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