Microsoft, British Council plan 80 digital hubs in Africa

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Software giant, Microsoft, in partnership with British Council will each invest $1 million over the next two years including human resources and in-kind resources to build 80 digital hubs across 6 Sub Saharan countries.

The Africa digital schools project “Badiliko” is the first project to be implemented as part of the new global agreement between Microsoft and the British Council.

The Badiliko training course modules are structured to equip teachers to become trainers of trainers.
By June 2012, the project, it was leanrt would have trained over 20,000 teachers whilst building 80 digital hubs across Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Ethiopia.

When fully implemented, the digital hubs will provide access to students, teachers and the surrounding communities. Teachers participating in this pilot project were selected in conjunction with the Ministry of Education of Ghana and Nigeria, British Council and Microsoft.

The project, which was officially launched in November 2011, aims at improving ICT use in innovative teaching practice, helping teachers hone their English language skills, and providing content to help educators increase their students’ knowledge and ability to engage in a global environment.

Meanwhile, 41 teachers and school leaders from Ghana and Nigeria has been trained in leadership skills, ICT innovation and integration in teaching and learning.

In his speech, Ghana’s Deputy Minister for Education, Hon. Mahama Ayariga. pledged the government’s commitment to see ICT access improving in schools.

He assured government’s initiative to provide access of ICT hardware in schools, an initiative that has seen over 60,000 computers being installed in schools across Ghana. He said that the Ghanaian government was happy that the British Council and Microsoft were providing this through the teacher training.

Speaking on behalf of the British Council, Business Director for Ghana Juliet Amoah said that the British Council would continue supporting ICT access and use in schools in Ghana. “Already, we have set up 3 digital hubs and training over 150 teachers across Ghana,” she said, adding that the British Council has set up digital hubs in Sefwi Wioso, Duayaw Nkwanta and Axim districts.

The hubs have been in operation since April 2010, serving over 20,000 students and surrounding communities.
The British Council, according to him, would have installed 20 more digital hubs in 20 districts by March 2012, training over 5,000 teachers by June 2012.

For Microsoft’s Citizenship and Partners in Learning APM for Microsoft Anglophone West Africa, Ugochukwu Nwosu, Project Badiliko is Microsoft’s way of driving deeper innovation in learning.

“Since 2008, Microsoft has trained over 50,000 educators and reached over six million people in West Africa through the Microsoft Partners in Learning programme. Through the Badiliko project, we expect to reach over 8,000 teachers and provide ICT infrastructure to over 30 schools across Ghana and Nigeria,” he said.

He added that , “This will go a long way to support the various national efforts of both governments, who have emphasized on education as a key catalyst to economic development in their various national plans.” making work easier for the teacher, as well as learning more interesting for the learner.

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