ISLAMABAD: Microsoft in collaboration with the Punjab School Education Department, Punjab TEVTA and Punjab Group of Colleges hosted a seminar in Education dubbed ‘Microsoft Edu Day’. The seminar brought together delegates from across the region to showcase the latest technology designed specifically for the education sector to promote immersive, inclusive and 21st-century learning.
The event was graced by Provincial Minister of Punjab for School Education, Dr. Murad Raas; Chairman Punjab TEVTA, Mr. Ali Salman Siddiqui; Director Technical, Sindh Education Foundation, Ms. Shahpara Rizvi; Advisor to Education Minister Punjab; Ms. Aasiya Khurram Agha, Consultant Higher Education Commission, Mr Asif Shahid Khan; Microsoft Country General Manager, Mr. Abid Zaidi; Microsoft Country Education Lead, Mr. Jibran Jamshad & Microsoft Education Transformation Lead, Ms. Jaye Richards-Hill in addition to relevant stakeholders of the Education sector. The event provided a platform to explore possible partnership opportunities of empowering the growing number of youths in the country which is at an all-time high according to the 2017 Pakistan National Human Development Report. The report highlights how the country’s youth can be a critical force for development if they are empowered with education and knowledge.
“Developing digital skills from primary school age has become a necessity, as youth navigate an increasingly technological world. With technology in the classrooms, learners can develop digital skills for the 21st century job market ,” says Provincial Minister of Punjab for School Education; Dr. Murad Raas“ While it’s essential that learners are upskilled, it’s also important that educators are empowered and provided with adequate resources to successfully carry out lessons in the classroom.”
Some of the technologies showcased include Office 365, Azure, Microsoft Imagine Academy Certifications and the Microsoft Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Campus Management Solutions, which are designed to drive better learning outcomes, more productive classroom time, and effective institutions. Artificial intelligence is powering majority of the solutions being used in education space, be it the use of cognitive APIs for safe campus management, or connecting billions of data sources to Azure IOT suite to drive statistical analysis, or to predict learning outcomes based on student performance all year round; insight-driven decision making is only possible using the power of AI, built into the Microsoft platform.
“Technologies such as Microsoft Teams, Minecraft and OneNote have played a big part in redefining learning through creating immersive and inclusive learning experiences that inspire lifelong learning,” says Abid Zaidi, Microsoft Country General Manager for Pakistan. “These tools are designed to make an educator’s job simpler so that they can devote time and resources to what matters most – teaching. As Microsoft, we are committed to empowering every learner and educator by providing access to the best technologies in the classroom.”
In addition to the technology showcase, Microsoft also announced the E2 Educators Exchange competition for local Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts (MIEs). The competition will give local education leaders the opportunity to attend E2 in Sydney, Australia, in 2020, and meet with global educators to explore industry trends and emerging technologies.
“We are really excited to provide local MIEs with the opportunity to engage with innovative educators from around the world,” says Jibran Jamshad, Microsoft Country Education Lead for Pakistan. “Each MIE will receive support and training on how to apply for the program. Overall, we are confident that delegates have left today’s event with new ideas, a revived hope in what digital transformation can do for the next generation, and a sense of belonging to an important global effort.”