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Windows 10 Pro for schools at $1 in India

Thursday 18 February 2016, by SIGNIS

Guwahati, Brussels, February 18th, 2016 (SIGNIS/Matters India). Software giant Microsoft Corporation has come forward to help government school students in Assam (India) by providing its popular operating system Windows at a nominal cost.

Under the Microsoft Shape the Future initiative, the software giant will provide 6,000 Windows 10 Pro (Value +) operating systems at US $1 each, to be installed in schools across the state for educational purposes. The software, otherwise, costs around Rs 12,000 in the market.

Microsoft Shape the Future is an initiative by the software giant to provide teachers and students with access to computer-based technologies to facilitate digital teaching and learning skills, build relevant, personalised learning environments and meet education goals.

Officials of the state education department told The Telegraph that this is the first time that the initiative has covered the students of Assam. On January 26, Microsoft had sent a confirmation letter to R.C. Jain, the mission director of Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA), saying it had approved the Abhiyan as eligible for the initiative.

RMSA, Assam is a comprehensive and integrated programme of the Centre in the state for providing “quality and meaningful” education to all children in the age group 14-16 years for secondary schools and 16-18 years for higher secondary schools.
“Altogether 500 schools of the state will benefit from the initiative,” Jain said.

RMSA state programmer Jitendra Kakati told The Telegraph that RMSA will set up computer laboratories and provide trainers so that the benefit of learning computers reaches every child. “We will provide infrastructure and trainers to the schools. Microsoft has provided the facility entirely for education purpose,” he said.

Around 2,100 schools in Assam are already getting computer education. Microsoft’s initiative has come as another boost in the field of computer education, The Telegraph reported.

According to data available with the RMSA, the number of government or provincialised secondary and higher secondary schools in the state is around 2,600.
As personal computers are available only in a handful of households in rural Assam and computer learning centres are also hardly available in those areas students have to rely on their schools for computer education.

“The initiative will help students. It will further boost the government’s efforts to impart computer education to students. Besides, the students will be able to familiarise themselves with the latest version of Windows operating system. Most of the students in government schools see a computer for the first time when they enter the computer classrooms in schools,” said a teacher of a school in Upper Assam’s Sivasagar district.

“We want the state government to lay more stress on computer education so that each student gains a fair idea about the basics of computers by the time he/she finishes school education,” the teacher said.

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