University Lecturers To Be Empowered With Tech Amid The AI Wave

by Business Watch Team

The Microsoft Africa Development Centre (ADC) has kicked off the second upskilling cohort, which will support university lecturers and empower them to keep in step with advancements in the tech industry. This edition introduces elements within its content and instruction that will further place participating faculty at the forefront of understanding technological progress.

Building upon the foundation laid by the first cohort, this year’s edition concentrates on intensive software development training, delving into the latest technologies, such as AI, and industry trends with a focus on practical exercises.

While speaking about the program, Catherine Muraga, the Microsoft ADC Managing Director, said: “The Microsoft Faculty Skilling Programme empowers faculty with knowledge and skills to shape the future of higher education. This initiative goes beyond traditional boundaries, empowering faculty with advanced knowledge and skills. It’s not just about staying current; it’s about leading the charge in shaping the educational landscape of tomorrow.”

This year’s curriculum includes “Teaching with AI,” which demonstrates the program’s dedication to staying ahead of technological breakthroughs. This focus on Artificial Intelligence (AI) entails using AI tools and methodologies in the curriculum to enhance teaching and learning experiences.

“The integration of AI into the curriculum is immensely significant as it sets the ground for students to build the understanding of the technology and gain the knowledge to develop AI tools that reflect and are relevant to their African contexts. We are working towards a future where tech training focuses on building African tech academia’s capacity to contribute to the global landscape,” said Ms. Muraga.

The program is in partnership with Microsoft Leap, based on a curriculum developed and taught by Microsoft Leap instructors and ADC Engineers. Yolanda Natal-Santos, Microsoft Leap’s Senior Business Program Manager says “I am excited to be partnering with ADC on this second cohort to help upskill university faculty. It is a testament to how valuable this initiative is for universities and students alike. We remain committed to continuing our work in this region, identifying, engaging, and aligning with changemakers in Africa to help us elevate our impact.”

On his part, as a previous participant in the first cohort, Dr Lawrence Nderu, the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology Computer Sciences department chairman, underscored the value gained from the close interaction between industry professionals and university faculty.

“Participating in the program is an invaluable investment for lecturers. Learning from and interacting with the people who are building industry-leading tech products gives us incredible insight into the process and allows us to enrich our student’s classroom experiences. Additionally, teaching and learning with AI not only enhances our methods but also brings tangible value to our roles, ensuring we stay at the forefront of educational practices,” said Dr Nderu.

This year’s participating universities include Zetech University, Kabarak University, Multimedia University of Kenya, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, St Paul’s University, Strathmore University, United States International University-Africa, Dedan Kimathi University, and Meru University with 24 lecturers making up the 2nd cohort.

Related Content: Microsoft ADC To Mentor Tech Women In Universities

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