Microsoft donates computer lab in collaboration with eSolutions Consulting

18 April 2018 Authored by Consultancy.africa

A show of commitment from an information communication technology (ICT) teacher in Ghana has led to the endowment of his school with a computer lab, fully equipped with dozens of systems. The contribution has been made by Microsoft, in collaboration with a local consulting firm by the name of eSolutions Consulting. 

Earlier this year, Okwura Kwadwo became something of an internet sensation, when pictures emerged of him manually recreating a Microsoft Word interface using a chalk and a blackboard, for want of access to a computer. The care with which he had drawn the interface soon caught the attention of people across the internet, and word eventually spread to Microsoft (so to speak).

The firm’s response was immediate, pledging to help the teacher out with systems to better help his students. Microsoft Africa’s twitter read; “Supporting teachers to enable digital transformation in education is at the core of what we do. We will equip Owura Kwadwo with a device from one of our partners, and access to our MCE program and free professional development resources on education.”

Further probing revealed that the teacher owns a laptop, but that its operating system and features were not compatible with those in the syllabus. He expressed the need for at least 50 desktop systems to be able to properly teach the students in line with the curriculum.

Now, Microsoft has kept its promise and heeded his call, having donated technological equipment, including dozens of computer systems, for the establishment of a computer lab in Betenese Junior High School in the Ashanti Region of Ghana, where Okwura teaches. The lab was established with support from Ghanaian consulting firm eSolutions Consulting. 

Microsoft donates computer lab in collaboration with eSolutions Consulting

Based out of Accra, eSolutions is an advisory firm that specialises in the business and IT domains. The firm offers integrated, customised solutions to firms across the continent, supporting them with IT strategy, enterprise architecture, IT portfolio management, data centre strategy, IT governance, and application development. 

The lab, established with Microsoft, consists of systems for the students as well as for the teacher, alongside a range of supplementary equipment such as furniture, uniforms, mathematical sets, storage and security units, a projector, a UPS backup, as well as internet routers with 1 year of free connectivity at 3G speed.

The incident is yet another demonstration of how much global support there is for education in Africa, given that the continent has the youngest population in the world, and could become a major economic centre if this large repository of young talent is harnessed. The digitalisation of the continent’s population further necessitates incorporation of ICT into education at the earliest.

Commenting on the move, Warren La Fleur, the Education Lead for West, East, and Central Africa at Microsoft said, “As a technology brand that is on a mission to empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more - Microsoft believes that enablement must start at grassroots level - by way of education. It is the teachers and the work they do through their lessons that allow for this to happen effectively. We are extremely impressed by the work educators all over the continent are doing. As economies like Ghana become increasingly digital, technical thinking and understanding technology becomes of supreme importance.”

The consulting industry has been particularly active on the intersection between technology and education in Africa. Late last year, Nigerian consulting firm Bilyak developed an E-learning application called mAcademy, which allows students to digitally access a broad range of education material. Earlier this month, global digital learning provider eThink launched in Nigeria also, in collaboration with SmartAlliance Consulting.

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