HEC renews education agreement with Microsoft

Varsities to get assistance for building secure, connected campus

Our Correspondent February 18, 2021


Microsoft Pakistan and the Higher education commission (HEC) have signed an education transformation agreement (ETA) at a virtual meeting held on Wednesday.

The meeting was attended by HEC Chairman Dr Tariq Banuri and Microsoft Vice President Education (for Europe Middle East & Africa) Mark East and other key executives from both sides.

Sharing his thoughts during the virtual session, Dr Tariq Banuri said the pandemic had brought many challenges for the educational sector in Pakistan.

“But with the help of Microsoft, we have successfully turned them into opportunities and embark on the journey to transform the education system through digitalisation.”

He said the ETA with Microsoft depicted their commitments to gearing towards revolutionising the learning process with a number of initiatives.

“These interventions will introduce modern technological tools to enhance faculty to student interaction at all levels and provide easy access to knowledge. This cooperation has a long way to go till the fulfilment of the Digital Pakistan vision.”

Jibran Jamshad, Education Lead for Microsoft Pakistan, said: “We have seen how this new normal has completely changed the way we interact with technology. We are witnessing the rise of remote and blended learning solutions by integrating technology in the way we teach and educate.”

He added: “With Microsoft 365, Azure and our productivity suite including Microsoft Teams, institutions can keep up with the rapid pace of innovation and design classrooms that foster innovation and inspire students to achieve more.”

Under the ETA framework, Microsoft collaborates with universities helping them in their digital transformation journey through a strategic technology framework implementation that helps them build a secure and connected campus, promotes teaching and learning activities, creates opportunities for academic research and increases chances of student success through easy access to knowledge and latest tools, said a statement.

There are multiple programmes that are part of this framework impacting student and faculties and the academic lifecycle.

Programmes such as the Student Hackathon, focused Technology boot camps. Imagine Cup and multiple online training sessions for over 200 institutions across the country directly help with technology adoption and help build the workforce for the future, it said. During the pandemic, it added, that the HEC has been providing remote learning solutions to drive continuity for academic activities in universities.

“To support the same initiative, Microsoft collaborated with the HEC to bring more than 100 universities and 500,000 plus students to a digital hub of Microsoft Teams that bring conversations content, assignments, and apps together at one place, letting educators create vibrant learning environments.

“Microsoft Teams platform also works well with Moodle, which most universities use as their Learning Management System. Microsoft Teams has also recently introduced new features that allow the faculty to take online exams in a secure environment enabling teaching faculty to conduct online assessments and create quizzes with ease.” 


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