Microsoft has launched a 12-week program designed to enhance technical skills for university lecturers in Kenya. The program, developed in collaboration with the Microsoft Africa Development Centre (ADC) and Microsoft Leap, aims to improve educators’ delivery of technology-focused courses and provide them with an opportunity to engage with fellow educators in skill-enhancement modules. The program will use a hybrid classroom model and practical training to provide instructors with a better understanding of industry requirements, inspire curriculum change that will align university classrooms with the needs of the technology industry, and expose them to advanced topics.
The Microsoft Skilling Program is a result of collaboration on many fronts, including university lecturers and their students. Catherine Muraga, Microsoft ADC Managing Director, notes that the training has been designed to provide lecturers with hands-on experience with industry needs, allowing them to design effective teaching for their students in an equally practical manner. The program will also expose them to advanced topics and allow them to experiment with effective teaching techniques while obtaining essential aspects of carrying out research studies.
Working collectively with Engineers from the ADC, Nairobi, the program will enhance skills, based on a curriculum developed and taught by Microsoft Leap instructors. In addition to technical programming aspects and teaching a hybrid classroom, educators will receive training on specific Microsoft tools that are already being used in classrooms around the world and can be introduced to Kenyan lecture halls. The program will also provide technical educators with the tools they need to introduce popular Microsoft resources like Microsoft Azure, Microsoft Power Platforms, and Microsoft Dynamics.
The first cohort of 23 educators is drawn from both private and public universities, including Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), Multimedia University, and Kirinyaga University. Strathmore University, KCA University, Kabarak University, USIU-Africa, Zetech University, and Africa Nazarene University are the others.
Dr. Lawrence Nderu, Chairman/Lecturer, Department of Computing, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, notes that the world is changing quickly, and if lecturers are to mold tomorrow’s leaders, they must evolve too. Each day, new tools and methods are being devised that are becoming increasingly crucial to operating within the tech industry. For the sake of students, it is best that lecturers learn how to leverage industry-standard and emerging technology from industry leaders.