Microsoft last week launched its Fresh Start for Donated Computers, an education initiative designed to provide Windows 98 or Windows 2000 to schools using donated computers in Cameroon and Ethiopia.

The initiative is part of Microsoft’s Partner’s in learning programme, aimed at empowering teachers and students to achieve their full potential by providing technology and training in education.

“Our fundamental goal is to ensure that the latest technology is made available to students and teachers. Through the Fresh Start for Donated Computers Initiative, we will be helping schools to reinstall Windows on computers that have been donated to them at no charge ” says Reza Bardien, education programs manager for Microsoft West, East and Central Africa.

Donated computers are a fundamental part of educational programmes around the world and it is estimated that there are approximately 600,000 donated computers in schools across Africa that can benefit from this initiative.

The Fresh Start for Donated Computers Initiative supports the new Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) schools’ objective of ensuring that every African youth leaving school has the necessary ICT skills to compete in the digital age.

Primary and secondary schools can apply online for the Fresh Start for Donated Computers Initiative or contact an NGO to facilitate the application process. Schools that have successfully qualified for the programme will receive a licensed copy of the windows 98 or Windows 2000 operating system for PCs (Pentium II or older ) at no charge.

The Fresh Start for Donated Computers Initiative runs in conjunction with the Microsoft Authorized Refurbishers (MAR) programme. Through the MAR programme, Microsoft works with computer refurbishers to provide a cost effective way to re-install the Windows operating system on donated pre-used computers destined for education institution and non-proflt charitable organizations.

Addis Tribune and Le Messager