Unsplash/Ismail Salad Hajji Dirir
Microsoft has joined the UK Government at a London event to work towards transforming education in lower-income countries. The business is aiming to help nations make better decisions using data gathered from Office 365 for Education.
The event, which was organised by the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), was attended by heads of state from Ghana, Afghanistan and Nigeria and several European countries.
Governments and private sector organisations pledged $5 billion to education funding over the next five years, while GPE nations also made commitments to education financing. These funds will address the education gap in lower-income countries, where millions of children are still excluded and unable to acquire basic learning skills by the age of 10.
“Microsoft is proud to be working with Global Partnership for Education for this new phase of education transformation,” said Steve Beswick, Microsoft’s EMEA education director. “We are excited to engage in the Education Data Leadership Programme (EDLP), an important initiative to enable education systems to gather more accurate education data, analyse it and make use of it in effective decision-making. It will capitalise on the existing investment we are making in countries supported by GPE.”
The EDLP was created to support partner countries to enhance their data competency and education data management systems. It will provide professional development sessions to the Ministry of Education data teams that will help “elevate skills and produce data leaders” and “develop a generation of high-performing education data scientists in GPE partner countries”, says Microsoft.
“Microsoft is one of our highly valued allies in the drive to address partner countries’ needs for strong, clear and actionable education data,” said Alice Albright, CEO of GPE. “Colleagues from Microsoft contributed their expertise to the Education Data Solutions Roundtable, including in developing guidelines for strengthening education management information systems.
“Now this business partner is similarly providing its technical know-how to the new EDLP, which will boost the data skills/capabilities of education ministries. Those skills can be game-changing, and we’re delighted to have this strong working partnership with Microsoft to help advance education system transformation.”
Microsoft is already supporting GPE beneficiary countries by providing Microsoft Office 365 A1 for Education to education systems for free. The EDLP will build on this, enabling Ministries of Education to collect and analyse data in Office 365 and gain insight into teaching, learning and administration taking place in schools using the platform.
Microsoft will also provide access to its digital skills training platform, Microsoft Learn, and Open Edu Analytics, a data integration and analytics architecture for the education sector.
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