Gangtok, Jan 31
Human Resource Development Department, Government of Sikkim has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Microsoft India here on Thursday. The main objective of the State government of this initiative is to enhance the digital literacy and to build new age tech capacity among students and faculty in the government schools in Sikkim.
The agreement was signed by HRDD Director [Samagra Shiksha] Bhim Thatal on behalf of the State government and by Microsoft India Director-Advocacy, Dr Vinnie Jauhari on behalf of the company in the presence of HRDD Minister RB Subba, Additional Chief Secretary HRDD, GP Upadhyaya and other senior officials from HRDD and Microsoft India. Initially the agreement is for a period of one year and will be extending in mutual understanding between both parties.
It has been mentioned that as a part of the collaboration, Microsoft will support the State in integration of IT content in the State board curriculum to build student capacity, whole school reform through the Microsoft Innovative School Programme, building teacher capacity through the Microsoft Educator Network and Innovative Educator Programme and enhancing digital literacy and digital citizenship.
On the occasion, State HRDD Minister stated that this initiative would chart the future of coming generation of the State. He expressed that this initiative was in the continuation of the State government efforts to transform the education system in the State. He added that the agreement was to revamp the education system of Sikkim and to enhance digital literacy in the government schools and to empower students and teachers.
Minister speaks about various areas and components of the agreement. He expressed that by recognising the need of the mass the government was fully committed to go further with such initiatives. He stated that the agreement with Microsoft India was another landmark in the betterment of education in Sikkim. He stated that the vision of the government was to make Sikkimese youths future-ready with the essential skills and Microsoft was an ideal partner for the transformational initiatives.
Likewise, HRDD Additional Chief Secretary expressed that it was proud day to start a journey of partnership with Microsoft to empower teachers and students and ultimately the mass of the State. He expressed his gratitude to the Chief Minister for always encouraging the department for innovative initiatives and for transformation in the education sector in Sikkim. He mentioned about the support of Microsoft India in the laptop distribution programme of the State government to students. He further thanked Microsoft India for supporting the venture of Sikkim government to provide the best laptops to students.
Mr Upadhyaya expressed his happiness on Sikkim being the first State from the entire north-eastern region to have partnership with Microsoft India in education sector. He mentioned about various initiatives of the State government in the field of education. He stated that artificial intelligence will transform the life of the people so it was the high time to prepare for this challenge. On the same, he expressed that the agreement would help to prepare students and mass of the State for future challenges.
Microsoft India Director-Advocacy, Dr Vinnie Jauhari expressed happiness in the collaboration with Sikkim in the field of education. She speaks about various programmes of Microsoft for the school reform and to empower students and teachers of schools and various exposures to them.
Earlier, the function started with welcome address by HRDD Director [SamagraShiksha] and concluded with the vote of thanks by Microsoft Regional Manager JaydevRath.
It is informed that under Integration of IT content in State Board Curriculum, the government will integrate Microsoft’s IT course ware and content in the State board curriculum for grades 6 to 10. The company will also train 100 master trainers on the curriculum at the State Council for Research and Training labs nominated by the government.
In whole school reform, Microsoft will adopt two schools identified and nominated by the government to train their teachers and students on Microsoft’s curriculum on creative coding and gaming through apps, robotics, entrepreneurship and tools for collaboration, creativity and communication. The training will be imparted through conducting workshops at these schools as well as online webinars to equip them with technology skills to counter real life challenges.
Under building teacher capacity, the initiative recognises that effective professional development of teachers is a must to prepare students with 21st century skills for the future. Microsoft will provide will Innovative Educator Program to all educators of primary, secondary, vocational and tertiary education to help them use ICT effectively and innovatively in the classroom, professional development content for educators such as the Microsoft Teaching with Technology, will also be made available through the Microsoft Educator Network. Microsoft will also provide free resources, tools and software through the Microsoft Educator Network, which will enable educators to participate in and garner learning from global discussion groups and mentoring sessions.
Under Digital Literacy and Digital Citizenship, Microsoft will train a batch of 20 District Education Officers and Principals of government schools nominated by the government on Microsoft Digital Literacy Curriculum & Certification who will go on to further train other schools within their district. Microsoft shall share an online platform to undertake a digital literacy certification after successful complete of the course. The digital literacy content will be available in both online and office modes free of cost.
Through such initiatives Microsoft continues to prepare teachers to transform education by using technology as well as creating an immersive and inclusive experience that inspire lifelong learning and stimulate development of essential life skills in students.