KARACHI: Microsoft, in collaboration with the Sindh government, School Education and Literacy Department, Information Science and Technology Department and Sindh Education Foundation, organised on Tuesday a 'Microsoft Edu Day' at the Movenpick Hotel in Karachi.
The aim was to bring together delegates from across the region and showcase the latest technology designed specifically for education.
The event was in line with the 2017 National Human Development Report, which found that Pakistan currently has more young people than ever before recorded in its history. The report highlights how the country's youth can be a critical force for development if they are empowered with education and knowledge.
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Speaking at the event, Information Science and Technology Minister Taimur Talpur, who was also the chief guest, briefed about the initiatives being launched by the provincial government in a bid to speed up e-governance
"Developing digital skills from primary school age has become a necessity as young people navigate an increasingly technological world. With technology in the classrooms, students can develop digital skills," said Talpur. "While it is essential that learners are skilled, it's also important that educators are empowered and provided adequate resources to successfully conduct lessons in the classroom."
The education secretary and his team briefed about the work being done on management and monitoring solutions. The Sindh Education Foundation gave a presentation on the ICT based Teaching and Learning Initiative.
Some of the technologies on display included Office 365, Azure and the Microsoft enterprise resource planning (ERP) and Campus Management Solutions, which are designed to drive better learning outcomes, more productive classroom time and budget management.
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"Technologies such as Skype, Minecraft and OneNote have played a big part in redefining learning by creating immersive and inclusive learning experiences," said Abid Zaidi, the country manager of Microsoft in Pakistan. "They are also designed to make an educator's job simpler, so that they can devote time and resources to what matters most. We are committed to doing our part to ensure that every learner and educator has access to the best technologies in the classroom."
With regard to the partnership with the Sindh government, Abid said, "For any collaboration to be successful, having a common goal is important. We're excited to work with the Sindh Education Foundation, School Education and Literacy and IT department, who share our vision of driving the digital transformation agenda in education, and empowering young people with a highly relevant education that positively impacts their future employability."
In addition to the technology showcase, Microsoft also announced a competition for local Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts. The competition will give local education leaders the opportunity to attend E2 in Paris in 2019 and interact with global educators to explore industry trends and emerging technologies.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 19th, 2018.