Microsoft has announced that it has launched a program to upskill university lecturers in technology courses. The program is a collaboration between Microsoft Africa Development Centre (Microsoft ADC) and Microsoft Leap.

The 12 week program, which begins on March 6th, will use a hybrid classroom model and practical training to provide lecturers with a better understanding of industry requirements and inspire a curriculum change that will align university classrooms with the needs of the technology industry.

“This program is the result of collaboration on many fronts, including university lecturers and their students. 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 course will also expose them to advanced topics and allow them to learn and experiment with effective teaching techniques while obtaining essential aspects of carrying out research studies,” said Catherine Muraga, Microsoft ADC Managing Director, at the program’s launch.

Yolanda Natal-Santos, Microsoft Leap’s Senior Business Program Manager says “Rooted in our culture of the growth mindset and the belief that digital skills are for everyone, we are grateful for our partnership with the Microsoft ADC, as we extend Microsoft Leap’s global reach to a region that is rich in culture and talent. The growth of our partnership with the Microsoft ADC, has provided our program with a platform to continue identifying, engaging, and aligning with changemakers in Africa, as we impact and elevate together.”

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, lecturers 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.

“JKUAT’s Department of Computing is thrilled to participate in the Microsoft Skilling Program, as it will provide our staff with access to cutting-edge technologies and a leading global company. This opportunity to engage with industry-relevant skills and knowledge brings great joy to the university”, Dr. Lawrence Nderu, Chairman/Lecturer, Department of Computing, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology said.

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.

Microsoft launched the Africa Development Centre (ADC) in 2019 with an initial site within Microsoft offices in Nairobi, Kenya, and another in Lagos, Nigeria. Since inception, the ADC has grown to over 500 full time employees working in areas such as software engineering, machine learning, data science, market research, infrastructure, and much more.