REDMOND, Wash., May 24, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Catholic International Education Office (OIEC) has entered into an education alliance with Microsoft Corp. to provide Office 365 for its community of Catholic schools across the world as part of a new Social Network for Catholic Education. This will begin with provision of software for 4.5 million students as part of a three-year alliance plan but in time has the potential to scale across OIEC's community of more than 43 million Catholic students at 210,000 schools in 102 countries. The new network will provide innovative software, services, training and access to technologies that will better prepare students for the jobs of the future.
OIEC's mission includes the promotion of education for all, collaboration within academic communities and the fight against illiteracy worldwide. In an ever-evolving technology landscape, educators in the 21st century face continuing challenges to build skills among teachers and provide students with the tools and knowledge they need to be successful. Working closely with schools around the globe for more than 20 years, Microsoft has a deep appreciation for these challenges. Based on experience, Microsoft currently takes a holistic approach to working with schools, one that's focused on improving educational outcomes for both students and educators that will have the greatest impact in the classroom.
"In alliance with Microsoft, we are entering a new era in global Catholic education," said F. Angel Astorgano, general secretary, OIEC. "We will offer the most advanced technology, knowledge and skills to our schools so our next generation of graduates is prepared for the new challenges of the 21st century."
In a competitive employment landscape, graduates who have developed technology skills are frequently provided with more opportunities. However, many schools around the globe are not able to evolve curriculum quickly enough to keep pace. Many schools simply do not have access to the technologies and training necessary to prepare students for the modern workforce.
"An innovative and forward-thinking Catholic organization is supporting the modernization of their schools, working with Microsoft and mutual partner Tralcom to deliver technology solutions to Catholic students and educators around the world," said Anthony Salcito, vice president of Worldwide Education at Microsoft.