Microsoft Corp. today kicked off its annual Partners in Learning Global Forum and announced a $250 million, five-year renewal of Microsoft Partners in Learning, bringing Microsoft’s total investment in the program to $750 million over 15 years. Microsoft aims to grow the Partners in Learning community to 20 million of the 75 million teachers worldwide by 2018 with the renewal and to continue preparing students for the changing global workforce.
Microsoft plans to expand Partners in Learning beyond the 119 countries that currently participate with a continued emphasis on driving community, developing networks, and allowing educators to share innovations and learn from each other.
“So many of us have a great teacher to thank for our achievements,” said Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft. “That’s why I am so proud that Microsoft Partners in Learning continues to support innovative teachers. We started this program nearly 10 years ago based on the belief that education is a fundamental human right and the single most important investment in our collective future. This has never been more true, and I’m really pleased to see the continuing commitment to innovations that can help all students and teachers reach their full potential.”
Partners in Learning is a key program within Microsoft YouthSpark, a companywide initiative to create opportunities for 300 million youth around the world by connecting them with greater opportunities for education, employment and entrepreneurship. Through the Partners in Learning program, Microsoft has trained more than 11 million teachers and reached more than 200 million students since 2003.
The 2012 Global Forum brings together more than 500 of the most innovative teachers, education leaders and government officials from 80 countries. Teachers who attend the forum are global finalists who have made it through a progressively selective competition that started with more than 250,000 participants at national events. They will compete for one of 18 Partners in Learning Global Forum Educator Awards.