Maharashtra schools to get ICT support from Microsoft

A Memorandum of Understanding was inked between State government and Microsoft India to enhance ICT adoption in schools and build the employability readiness skills of the future workforce. This was an extension of the previous agreement signed in 2007. According to the new agreement, the software giant will help the state government to enhance ICT adoption in schools and build the employability readiness skills of the future workforce in Maharashtra.

Government of Maharashtra's Education Secretary, Sanjay Kumar, IAS, and Microsoft India's managing director Rajan Anandan signed the agreement today in the presence of Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan and Education Minister Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil. The latest MoU is an extension of the previous agreement, under which Microsoft had setup three state-of-the-art IT academies in Pune, Nagpur and Aurangabad. Also, it trained over 92,000 teachers who in turn impacted over 46,00,000 students in the state. Microsoft, under the new education alliance, will further train about 6000 teachers, some 100,000 pre-service teachers and also add three new IT academies in next two years. The aim is to adopt ICT and bring in focus on employability and build capacity in the state. Microsoft will provide training to the teachers and pre-service teachers with the 10 day training module in a classroom setup and then each of the trained resources can then further build ICT readiness among others educators in the cluster. The company will conduct over 200 sessions at the district level for offering training to 6000 resources. In terms of building employability readiness amongst class 11 and 12 students, Microsoft will initiate two key programs such as Live@Edu initiative and DreamSpark. Moreover, under the Microsoft's Live@Edu initiative, the company will provide students and teachers with email IDs as per school specific domains across some 85,000 schools in the state and aims to create an online community.