The government of Assam and Microsoft have signed a memorandum of understanding that is aimed at improving readliness of educators by integrating technology in classroom. The one year alliance will support Assam School Education System to use technology for improving quality of learning in schools. The agreement was signed by LS Changsan, Director of the Assam government's Asom Sarba Siksha Abhijan Mission, and Ranbir Singh, Country Head (Government Engagements) of Microsoft India on Wednesday in Guwahati.
Microsoft said in a statement, "The agreement will focus on professional development for 5,760 school teachers in Assam and will equip them with skills required for integrating IT in classroom teaching to drive better learning outcomes for the students under Microsoft's Partners in Learning (PiL) programme through training sessions held at six state-run DIETS (District Institute for Education and Training)."
Partenrs in learning is a global Microsoft programme that trains teachers and educators for integrating Microsoft technologies in classroom for in the name of enhancing quality of classroom education. In India alone, nearly 708,017 government schools are under this program.
The move taken by the Assam government is surprising as the India has seen a shift towards open-source technologies in governance and education for the past few years. Technology in Education needs to be vendor independent and accessible freely to all. Arguably this is going to have an impact on students as well as their education.
Here is should be noted that Government of Kerela has taken major steps to use FOSS in education. IT@School project is a Free and Open Source initiative by the department of general education, Government of Kerala. This is a state wide FOSS-based ICT in education project which has been running successfully for the last five years. Since its inception the state has witnessed nearly 2,738 high schools operating on Free and Open Source Software.