Microsoft is ready to assist in reducing barriers to learning Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) in schools across Nigeria.

This was disclosed by a Microsoft official, Ms Jordan Bel-Monte, on Friday. Bel-Monte, who is the Microsoft Education Programme Manager, gave the assurance during the 2nd edition of the Microsoft and Fliplearn creativity in learning event held in Lagos.

The event jointly organised by Microsoft and Fliplearn had the theme: “Creativity in Learning: A Hands-On Approach’’.

The Microsoft official said there was need for educational transformation in the country, adding that this could be achieved through adoption of different learning skills and through technology.

“Microsoft has the firm belief that power in education can transform lives and foster economic growth across the country.

“This can also be achieved through technology adoption and that is why Microsoft has invested heavily to provide affordable access to technology for schools in the country.

“The theme of the programme, `creativity in learning’, implies that students have various ways of adapting to learning skills.

“However, through technology, the promise of an adaptable diverse classroom experience can be realised,’’ she said.

Bel-Monte said it was time for people to move away from the old ways of doing things to embrace new technical ways, so the Nigerian education sector could compete favourably with other climes.

She said that what students needed to be able to fit in the labour force was to be able to collaborate, and communicate with strong critical thinking and creative skills.

The Microsoft official said as regards adoption of STEM, Microsoft had recorded success stories like that of Anambra that came top in the Joint Administration Matriculation Board (JAMB) Examination.

“Anambra State adopted our Emerging Academy Programme which is a digital training platform for students and teachers, where they are taught various skills with the university teaching technology framework.

“Microsoft with the initiative of the Federal Ministry of Education proffered technological solutions to some unity schools and Federal schools in the country,’’ she said.
Bel-Monte said that Microsoft had offered free office 365 for schools, which meant that programmes like Word, PowerPoint and Excel comes with free data.

She said that in the offing, Microsoft would offer a free professional level developers tool for students to allow them create games, apps and websites, also the free cloud-based solution account.

The Microsoft programme manager said the tool was an investment it made because of the available emerging market.
She said that setting pricing for their products was based on indications from World Bank, World Economic Forum and the Human Development Index that existed in a country.

Also contributing, Mr Clifford Ifebueme, Director, Fliplearn, said the event was about bringing digital concepts to the classroom to help students’ internalise learning.
Ifebueme said that one of the problems to be solved by STEM was technology adoption; how to implement it in the classroom, and how to be able to measure it.

“Fliplearn is all about internalising learning for students, bringing the best in technology to the classroom and making it more engaging for the 21st century kids.

“The programme is also to bring educators around the world to share their experiences, best practices, and bring content to teachers,’’ the director said.

He said the reception of the programme was good because schools recognised technology’s importance in training a child.

Ifebueme stressed that there was need to work on the current educational curriculum so that it would fit in the present world.

“Our products come in the form of creative writing training and exams,’’ he said