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Microsoft, Ed4All to deliver govt’s virtual school initiative

As part of this collaboration, Microsoft and Ed4All have launched a customized tech platform for the NIOS Virtual Open School, BLEAP® for NIOS that provides learners a personalized learning experience for improved learning outcomes. (AP)Premium
As part of this collaboration, Microsoft and Ed4All have launched a customized tech platform for the NIOS Virtual Open School, BLEAP® for NIOS that provides learners a personalized learning experience for improved learning outcomes. (AP)

  • The move comes within 10 days of the education ministry announcing a new schooling concept, which will be 100% digital in its teaching-learning offering and assessment, and underlined India’s tech push in the sector

Technology major Microsoft and education SaaS platform Ed4All Thursday announced a partnership with the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS), a body under the Union education ministry, to implement the virtual school initiative of the ministry.

The move comes within 10 days of the education ministry announcing a new schooling concept, which will be 100% digital in its teaching-learning offering and assessment, and underlined India’s tech push in the sector.

As part of this collaboration, Microsoft and Ed4All have launched a customized tech platform for the NIOS Virtual Open School, BLEAP® for NIOS that provides learners a personalized learning experience for improved learning outcomes.

Through this partnership, Microsoft and Ed4All claimed that they will reach millions of learners across the open schooling ecosystem, providing access to tools, experiences, and job-ready skills.

The Union government on 24 August had formally announced a virtual school concept that will allow millions of eligible students outside the school system to complete their studies without physically attending a brick-and-mortar school. This will be implemented through NIOS but will be entirely digital in nature. The move underscores the government’s push towards increasing adoption of technology in the education sector.

“BLEAP® for NIOS brings together live classes and labs, recorded sessions, remote proctored exams and assessments along with skill-based courses and certifications to provide a holistic learning experience. Students across NIOS will also have access to digital courses on technologies like artificial intelligence, cloud computing, cyber security and data sciences among others," the tech company said.

“Designed to create a better classroom experience that enables student success, the platform will provide easy-to-consume modules including live demos, hands-on workshops and assignments. BLEAP® for NIOS is built on the Microsoft stack of Teams, M365 and Azure, with security at the core," it added.

Education minister Dharmendra Pradhan said NIOS Virtual School is a new model of learning and is an example how leveraging technology and innovation can facilitate greater inclusion in education. The school will provide advanced digital learning platforms through virtual live classrooms and virtual labs, he explained.

“Technology is playing a bigger role than ever in transforming education, improving learning outcomes and better preparing students for the new world of work. Our partnership with NIOS to empower over 170 million learners across the country is an important step in ensuring equity in education and skilling," said Navtez Bal, Executive Director, Public Sector, Microsoft India.

“As we rapidly move towards a digital economy, the skills of the future will look very different from the skills that are needed today. Along with Ed4All, we are committed to providing access to the technology, skills and resources that students need to succeed in a digital world," Bal said.

“Ed4All is delighted to partner with Microsoft and NIOS to power NIOS Virtual Open School through BLEAP®—a custom-built learning platform developed for NIOS. This will enable every learner in the country to become employable through most advanced Open Schooling," said Sanjay Viswanathan, chairman, Ed4All.

BLEAP® stands for Blended Learning and Pedagogy. Ed4All is education SaaS platform, powered by a partnership with Microsoft and serving both school and higher education market.

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