Microsoft Corporation said on Wednesday that it will invest $75 million in community programs over the next three years to increase access to computer science education for youth, and especially for those from under-represented backgrounds.
The IT giant will deliver its commitment through cash grants and nonprofit partnerships as well as unique program and content offerings over the next three years.
“If we are going to solve tomorrow’s global challenges, we must come together today to inspire young people everywhere with the promise of technology,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said.
“We can’t leave anyone out. We’re proud to make this $75 million investment in computer science education to create new opportunities for students across the spectrum of diverse youth and help build a tech talent pipeline that will spark new innovations for the future.”
Technology Education and Literacy in Schools (TEALS) is one of the flagship programs that Microsoft leads. Under the programme, tech professionals from the industry will work with teachers in the US high schools and form a team-teach computer science.
Microsoft said TEALS aims to grow fivefold in the next three years, with the goal of working with 2,000 tech industry volunteers to reach 30,000 students in nearly 700 schools across 33 states.
Nadella called upon thousands of tech professionals to serve as TEALS volunteers and help broaden the opportunity for students of all backgrounds to learn computer science in high school. He was speaking at the annual Dreamforce conference hosted by Salesforce.
“We need to increase access to computer science and computational thinking for all students, especially those from diverse populations, by partnering across the industry and with teachers and schools to turn this situation around and change the paradigm for developing a more diverse tech talent pipeline,” Microsoft President Brad Smith said.
Explaining its global commitment, Microsoft said it has three additional key elements to its promise for the youth. Those are global philanthropic investments, Microsoft Imagine and YouthSpark Hub.
Under the global philanthropic investments, Microsoft, with the help of non-profit organisations in Latin America, Middle East, Africa, Europe and Asia, will deliver a range of computing skills from digital literacy to computer science education to youth in local communities around the world.
At the same time, Microsoft Imagine connects students with the tools, resources and experiences they need to turn their innovative ideas into reality. Meanwhile, YouthSpark Hub resources are designed to inspire youth about the full spectrum of computing skills, ranging from digital literacy to computer science engineering.