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Access to Microsoft Office 'will transform Thai education'

SOME 8.4 million Thai students and teachers are set to benefit from Microsoft's largest cloud education partnerships to date.

Last week, Microsoft (Thailand) signed a memorandum of understanding with Thailand's Office of the Basic Education Commission (Obec) to provide 8 million students and 400,000 teachers across Thailand with access to Microsoft Office 365 for Education.

Anek Ratpiyapaporn, the Obec senior adviser in Technology for Teaching and Learning, said Microsoft's support would ensure educators and students could access the solutions and platforms they needed.

"This initiative will play a key role in our preparations for ASEAN Economic Community integration. [It will] drive the development of 21st century skills that are vital to the Smart Thailand 2020 strategy, whose key objective is to foster sustainable national growth and raise the standard of living through technology," Anek added.

A 2013 IDC study commissioned by Microsoft found that proficiency with Microsoft Office applications ranks high at number three of the top 20 in-demand skills globally. The study also found that 29 per cent of high growth/salary occupations call for Microsoft Office or Microsoft Office-related skills such as word processing, spreadsheets and financial reporting.

Haresh Khoobchandani, |managing director of Microsoft (Thailand), said, "Microsoft has always seen technology as an important enabler of quality |education, and this memoran-dum of understanding underscores our long-term commitment to Thailand and our vision of a holistic transformation of the Thai education system".

The agreement, which also includes the extension of the Partners in Learning initiative to 2019, represents the single biggest cloud service deployment for Microsoft in the education sector globally.

Conceived in 2003, Partners in Learning is a global Microsoft programme that fosters innovative use of technology in education to help students and teachers around the world maximise their potential. So far, the programme has provided training to more than 12 million educators and enhanced the learning experience for 200 million students in 119 countries.


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