Oman, Microsoft sign MoU to bring improved ICT education to schools
Oman's Ministry of Education and Microsoft South Gulf has signed a Memorandum of Understanding to bring improved ICT education to schools in the Sultanate, under the Partners in Learning global initiative. The five-year agreement will encourage school teachers, staff and students to use ICT to improve the learning process, and will support teachers in raising their level of ICT awareness. The agreement includes programs to help provide cost effective software and provide learning resources for communities throughout Oman.
Mustafa bin Abdullatif, undersecretary of Administration & Finance said: “This agreement is a very important step forward for education in Oman. This program will ensure that our students receive ICT teaching of the highest standard, and that our teachers are prepared and supported to educate our young people in the IT skills they need for employment in the modern workplace.”
The memorandum of understanding will introduce a number of different initiatives to benefit schools and teachers. Microsoft will provide schools in the Sultanate with ICT training materials for students and teachers from the Microsoft IT Academy program, as well as working with the Ministry’s curriculum development team to integrate ICT into the school’s learning curriculum. Teachers will be supported through the Innovative Teachers Network (ITN) an online resource that provides teachers with best practices, course content and teaching tools. ITN will also provide Omani teachers with an online forum to discuss ICT education.
Microsoft will also work with the Ministry on supporting innovative educational projects, such as the Resource Based Active Learning Project, which uses small computer networks in classrooms to leverage ICT in teaching. Microsoft will provide examples of the latest technology to be used in the project.
The memorandum of understanding includes provisions to help schools with the cost of introducing technology to classrooms through a special Partners in Learning School Agreement, which offers discounted Microsoft Office software to schools, and a Fresh Start program that provides free Windows operating systems to Pentium II or older PCs that are donated to schools. To provide technical support for IT projects in schools, Microsoft and the Ministry will work to identify facilities such as regional Directorates, where support centers can be established. Microsoft will provide training and assistance to students to act as help desk staff.
Abdullatif Almulla, General Manager of Microsoft South Gulf commented: “Microsoft believes that the private sector has an important role to play in helping young people to develop to their full potential. We are very pleased to be able to partner with the Ministry of Education and Youth to bring the benefits of ICT to students in Oman, and to provide them with vital skills for the future development of the Sultanate.” (menareport.com)
© 2004 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)
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