By Mark Sutton
Microsoft transfers Jordan's School Technology Innovation Centre to Ministry of Education
Microsoft has completed the handover of the School Technology Innovation Centre (STIC) to the Ministry of Education in Jordan.
The STIC, which was established as a partnership between Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, Cisco, Intel and the Jordanian Government to encourage the use of IT in teaching, has now been transferred to the control of the Ministry following the completion of staff training by Microsoft.
The centre, the first of its kind in the EMEA region, was built in 2005, and has given over 1,000 public and private sector teachers training courses in innovation and best practices for using IT in schools.
Speaking at the handover announcement, Dr. Tayseer Al Naimi, Minister of Education , said: "The solid partnership between the Jordanian Government, Microsoft and its partners, as well as the Jordan Education Initiative, aims at realizing the common goal we all share, which is to enhance education, improve on its methods and tools of delivery, as well as sharpen the skills of teachers in all specialties, especially in those where the use of IT in education and training are currently limited.
"This initiative is not only significant to the public private partnership but also represents a milestone in achieving educational reform and building a sustainable knowledge economy, which falls in line with the government's vision for the educational sector," he added.
Also attending the handover were the US Secretary of Commerce, Carlos Gutierrez; Basem Rousan, the Minister of Information & Communications Technology in Jordan, and Zeid Shubailat, country manager of Microsoft Jordan.
Shubailat commented: "Microsoft selected Jordan as the first country to implement this initiative due to the fact that Jordan is actively and seriously working on developing its educational sector. Furthermore, the center was partly inspired by, and fully supports, Jordan's ambitious e-learning project - the Jordan Education Initiative. The center's tremendous success has led Microsoft to establish similar centers in North Ireland, Czech Republic, South Africa and Belgium."