Reverend Professor Cephas Omenyo, Provost of the College of Education, University of Ghana, said the University was committed to upholding its mission of creating an enabling environment that makes it increasingly relevant to national and global development, through cutting-edge research and high quality teaching and learning.
Professor Omenyo explained that, it was with this mission that Microsoft first partnered with the University, as a sponsor for the academic institution’s Computer Science Department Week, and included in Microsoft’s Dream Spark initiative.
Mr Derek Appiah, the Country Manager of Microsoft in Ghana, said the Education Alliance Agreement moves Microsoft’s engagement past, being a series of individual transactions, to a long-term strategic relationship.
He said “At Microsoft in Ghana we are focusing on investing in the youth, and productivity tools, and cloud technology are important enablers to help them grow.”
Mr Appiah said faculty members, staff and all registered students could expect to benefit from free access to the latest Microsoft productivity tools, for use on up to five personal devices -personal computers, laptops, tablets, and mobile phones at work or at home so that they could install Office desktop programmes on their personal devices.
“Our agreement with the University of Ghana is an important step in the right direction. We are giving students and staff the opportunity to be productive anytime, anywhere and develop the skills they need to punch above their weight locally and globally,” he added.
He stressed that in addition, all registered students, faculty and staff will have free access to Office 365, a cloud-based communication, collaboration, web conferencing, document creation and storage service.
The university will also incorporate the Microsoft Information Technology Academy Project.
“As part of the programme, which would be deployed through Smartthink Ltd, a Microsoft Training Partner in Ghana, faculty members and students will have access to Partners in Learning, a Microsoft global initiative designed to drive effective use of technology in teaching and learning” he added.
Mr Appiah said staff and students would also be able to access the Microsoft Digital Literacy Curriculum, enabling them to acquire essential computer concepts and skills and to become certified in Microsoft technologies.
University of Ghana will continue to be part of DreamSpark, a driving application development, and will receive support for a Microsoft cloud development lab.
Professor Yaw Oheneba-Sakyi, Dean of the School of Continuing and Distance Education, University of Ghana, expressed satisfaction about the agreement, adding that, the partnership would improve the University’s response to the needs of the Distance Education students at the Centre.
“With the Microsoft IT Academy and the use of cloud-based computing tools, there will be increasing options for online learning and occupational continuing education for the Ghanaian youth, adult learners, and other professionals,” he added.