A group of university lecturers from various universities have graduated from a rigorous skilling and immersion program in teaching and research organized by the Microsoft Africa Development Centre (ADC) with the goal of improving students’ classroom experiences and learning. The comprehensive program is designed to provide faculty members with the most recent technological advancements, ensuring their expertise remains at the forefront of the ever-changing tech landscape.
The 12-week program was delivered through a hybrid classroom model and practical training to provide instructors with a better understanding of industry requirements and to inspire curriculum advancement that will align universities with the needs of the technology industry.
(TOP: L-R – Irene Githinji, Education Engagements Lead, Microsoft ADC; Victor Muriithi, Multimedia University Computer Technologist; and Mercy Wairimu Gachoka, Kabarak University IT Lecturer and Data Scientist, during the graduation ceremony. A group of university lecturers from various universities have graduated from a rigorous skilling and immersion program in teaching and research organized by the Microsoft ADC with the goal of improving students’ classroom experiences and learning).
Speaking at the graduation ceremony, Catherine Muraga, the Microsoft ADC Managing Director, emphasized the importance of hands-on experience as provided by the program in helping the instructors deliver better learning outcomes to their students.
“The primary goal of the faculty skilling and immersion program was to engage faculty in skill development, including teaching and research, as well as to identify best practices to implement in their classroom. The course was specifically designed to provide rigorous training and help strengthen understanding of core general management concepts, gain exposure to advanced technical topics, learn and experiment with effective pedagogical techniques, and become familiar with essential aspects of conducting research studies.”
During the training program, faculty members delved into a variety of technologically significant areas, including but not limited to artificial intelligence, machine learning, data analytics, cybersecurity, cloud computing, and software engineering. The program also emphasized the most recent trends and advancements in the technology industry, ensuring that the faculty remained at the forefront of innovation.
Dr. Paula Musava, Assistant Professor, USIU Africa, stated: “The program has been invaluable in expanding our horizons as instructors, which will enable us to deliver exceptional education and mentorship to our students and prepare them for success in the rapidly advancing tech industry. It’s indeed exciting to be a part of a program that will help shape the future of the technology industry.”
The ADC will continue to work with faculty by providing curriculum development assistance and guest lecturers to supplement teaching courses. The center will also facilitate the formation of communities of practice where faculty with similar interests can further collaborate and learn from one another, as well as provide mentoring and coaching through peer observations, feedback sessions, and constructive discussions.
“We are thrilled to see the first cohort of faculty graduates from our advanced training program. As the ADC, we prioritize investment in improving the technology education system to better prepare students to fit into industry roles and create new ones as the landscape evolves. Our commitment is to continually foster an environment of continuous learning, both internally and externally, that will allow consistent growth and development among all our staff and partners,” Muraga added.
Microsoft launched the Africa Development Centre (ADC) in 2019 with an initial site within Microsoft offices in Nairobi, Kenya, and another in Lagos, Nigeria. The centre’s goal is to attract world-class African engineering talent to create innovative solutions spanning the intelligent cloud and intelligent edge. Since its inception in Nairobi in 2019, the ADC has grown to over 500 full-time employees working in areas such as software engineering, machine learning, data science, market research, infrastructure, and much more.