Project Badiliko: Microsoft and the British Council

Our objective

To improve access and quality in education, training, and technology around the world. Project Badiliko will provide teachers and learners across Africa with the 21st Century skills they need to live and work in a global economy.

Our strategy

Badiliko is the first project in a strategic alliance between the British Council and Microsoft, which started in 2011, that builds on our organisations’ complementary expertise in education, technology, and cultural relations. Microsoft brings its expertise in delivering cutting edge technology and digital training and the British Council builds on its deep experience working with government ministries, schools, teachers, and students in sub-Saharan Africa. Over 2011-13, the British Council and Microsoft have each invested $1 million in the project, plus staff and in-kind resources.

Project Badiliko builds digital hubs at schools and community centres across Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Ghana and Nigeria and provides a cascade model of professional development for teachers and school leaders.

For each digital hub, teachers are trained in leadership and innovative teaching practices, learning how to make the best use of the information and communications technology for transforming student learning.  Those then train other teachers, who work together to disseminate their newfound skills through their own schools and communities. The digital hubs in schools are used for teaching and learning during the day and by the wider community for skills training after school. Where schools are off the grid, the digital hubs are supported by solar power and long range Wi-Fi.

In addition to mainstreaming information and communications technologies (ICT) in schools, we are delivering a series of policy workshops with host governments and stakeholders in each of the six countries.  These workshops aim to contribute to the development of national ICT in Schools strategies, leveraging the Badiliko experience.

Our impact

In the first 2 years of the Badiliko project, we built 90 digital hubs and trained over 3,500 teachers and school leaders. By the end of the first phase of the project in 2013, we will provide over 100,000 learners and communities with digital access while making a significant contribution to the development of effective national ICT in Schools strategies in the six countries.

The success of Badiliko is now producing a many successor projects with additional partners.  One example is the new the Spark a Child’s Digital Future programme, which we have developed with World Vision and Intel.  This new programme will take the Badiliko model into remote underserved communities in Africa, delivering its first project in Kenya in summer 2013. Our goal to expand innovation and research to promote 21st century skills in teaching and learning is being achieved through multi-stakeholder, public-private partnerships.

Badiliko has been an invaluable proving ground for the power of the British Council – Microsoft partnership.  Our objectives in improving education worldwide align, our brands complement each other and there is strong synergy between our business assets and capabilities.  The partnership is now poised to deliver multiple education and training projects throughout the world in the coming years, using ICT to transform education and ensure that students are equipped with the skills that they need to succeed in the 21st Century

“I haven’t run into another organisation around the world quite like British Council, and I work with a lot of partnerships in a lot of different countries. There are few organisations that have the deep cultural understanding as well as an educational philosophy that can mix private and public sector organisations in order to scale things in the way that most organisations can’t do.“ James Bernard, Global Director, Strategic Partnerships, Microsoft Education