British Council, Microsoft to Build Digital Hubs in 80African schools


LAGOS, NIGERIA: The British Council and Microsoft aim to build 80 digital hubs across sub-Saharan Africa, at an estimated cost of $2 million. The project, called Badiliko, which means ‘change’ in Swahili, is to set up digital hubs in schools across Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Ghana and Nigeria. The scheme aims to strengthen e-learning, capacity building and connectivity, providing a cascade model of professional development for teachers and school leaders over the next two years.

“For each digital hub, teachers will be trained in leadership and innovative teaching practices, including how technology can support teaching and learning, and help students become global citizens,” said the British Counsel in a statement.

It kicked off in Nairobi with a four-day training session of 90 educators and school leaders from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia. The companies will each invest $1 million in cash over the next two years, plus staff and resources, to build the eighty hubs.

The partnership, officially launched in November 2011, in Washington, aims to improve ICT use in innovative teaching practice, help teachers hone their English language skills, and provide content to help educators increase their students’ knowledge and ability to engage in a global environment.

Over 20 000 school leaders and teachers could be trained, while over 100 000 learners and communities will have digital access, helping to promote literacy across the region.

The project was inspired by similar work already under way in Africa by the British Council, where 40 digital hubs have already been established in 17 countries, and a commitment made by Microsoft and other partners at the Clinton Global Initiative in 2010 to build labs in 40 schools in Haiti.

“Through Partners in Learning, Microsoft has trained over 20 000 Kenyan educators not only on basic ICT skills, but also on ICT integration in teaching and learning,” said Mark Matunga, regional education manager, Microsoft East and Southern Africa, at the launch of the training at the Kenya School of Monetary Studies.


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