The Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan and Microsoft Pakistan plan to pursue a joint initiative to promote the use of Information Technology and cloud computing solutions across the education segment in Pakistan.
Microsoft Academic Day
The inaugural ‘Microsoft Academic Day’ organized at the University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir in Muzaffarabad, is a proof of the HEC and Microsoft commitment in delivering advanced trainings, boot-camps and state-of-the-art software packages to universities across the country.
The HEC has taken a horde of ICT initiatives to provide services to the education and research communities at the higher education institutions in Pakistan. These include National Digital Library, Pakistan Education & Research Network (PERN), National Video Conferencing Network, Unified Communication, Access to Licensed Software, Higher Education Management Information System, and e-HEC Online Services.
Recent HEC ventures include transformation towards Smart Education through Smart Universities, EduCloud Services, ICT R&D and Innovation Centers, IT Academy at HEIs, and EduTV for Education Counselling Services. Microsoft is investing $75 million globally over the next three years to increase access to computer science education for all youth, and especially for those from under-privileged backgrounds. Cloud programmes, like Office 365, play a significant role in enhancing collaboration in the classrooms.
The academic day was chaired by Dr. Mustafa Bashir, MLA from Government of Azad Jammu and Kashmir. Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Khawaja Farooq Ahmad was also present on the occasion, along with Anwar Amjad, DG IT from HEC.
Comments and Discussion on the Occasion
Abid Zaidi, Director Enterprise Segment, Microsoft Pakistan, said,
“The ‘Microsoft Academic Day’ includes a 2-hour long discussion on the achievements of the past academic year, showcasing students’ success stories, the winning ‘Imagine Cup’ ideas from the previous year, a discussion on the latest education revolution taking place via cloud technologies and lastly, some facts and figures on the Education Transformation happening throughout the country as a result of Microsoft and HEC’s engagement.”
Anwar Amjad, Director General Information Technology, Higher Education Commission Pakistan, while dilating on the prospect of a continuing endeavor in partnership with Microsoft, said, “It is a pleasure for us to work in cohesion with the global technology leader – Microsoft. Together we are striving to revolutionize Pakistan’s education system and it is really heartening to see the great response from all the stakeholders.”
The Microsoft Academic Day included discussions on the Education Transformation Agreement between the two organizations, and its impact and role in the education landscape of Pakistan. Furthermore, Azure and Cloud, the latest technology trends in education, were also highlighted. Additionally, an insight into the ‘Imagine Cup’; next year’s engagement plan and past 4 years’ winners; a showcase on Office 365, discussion on the 250,000 plus users on the platform, it’s adoption relating to its usage in education, were also addressed on the occasion.
Joint Commitment to Support Higher Education
As devices and technology become more accessible, and the capabilities grow, especially when the laptops are being distributed by HEC under the Prime Minister’s Laptops Scheme. Microsoft will help all students to learn, closing the skills gap and empowering the students to achieve more.