Teachers to get free Office 365

Education Minister says scheme will benefit more than 12,000 educators

Photo: Reuben Piscopo/DOI
Photo: Reuben Piscopo/DOI

A €.12 million investment was unveiled earlier today by which educators will be able to access the same Office 365 ProPlus benefit as their students through Teacher Advantage.

The investment was launched by Education Minister Evarist Barolo and Parliamentary Secretary for Competitiveness José Herrera.

Bartolo said that the scheme would benefit more than 12,000 educators.

“Together with MITA and Microsoft my Ministry made sure that this scheme is open for all compulsory level schools in Malta and Gozo, irrespective of whether they are run by the state, church or independently. We need to equip our educators with the latest tools available. They are the ones who shape our future generation,” he said.

MITA Executive Chairman Tony Sultana said that theextension was possible through the agreement that government has with Microsoft.

Those eligible are teaching grades of all state schools, Church schools, and independent schools, MCAST, Higher Secondary and Gozo Sixth Form. In total there are over 12,000 educators in Malta and Gozo eligible for this offer.

Extending the Office 365 ProPlus benefit to educators ensures that teaching grades are using the latest versions of Office and the same feature set as their students. They will also be able to use familiar applications such as Word, PowerPoint and Excel anywhere, anytime and across virtually any device (PC, Mac, Windows, Android, iOS).

It will allow them to install full Office on up to five PCs or Macs and unlock the editing capabilities of the Office apps for tablets and smart phones. It also gives them access to all their Office documents both at school and at home. With Office 365 ProPlus teachers can take advantage of several Office apps and add-ins like Office Mix to record and publish class lectures.

Moreover, all eligible participants are allowed to sync up to five different devices - PCs, laptops, tablets and smart phones. Educators also get 1TB of free online space though OneDrive.

This package is valued at €99 per educator per year.

MUT senior vice president Marco Bonnici said that the union welcomed the initiative as educators needed to be equipped with the latest technologies to continue to provide the best educational experience to students.

“It is important that the Government is extending this scheme to various teaching grades in all three educational sectors to enable educators to keep abreast with technologies which are already used by students.”

Bonnici added that the MUT augurs that this investment in educators is complemented by investment in hardware and in the continuous upgrading of infrastructures.

Herrera said that the Student Advantage scheme was a resounding success. More than 40,000 students were eligible and data shows that between them they downloaded the Office 365 suite more than 72,000 times.

“ICT is one of the main drivers of our economy and thus schemes like these give us the opportunity to extend the benefits that we can garner from ICT to people who on a daily basis educate our children,” Herrera added.

Registration is simple. Eligible participants from state schools should have received an email on their academic mailbox with information and a unique verification code. They have till 16th June 2015 to visit mita.gov.mt/teacheradvantage and register with their unique verification code. By the end of June 2015, they will receive another e-mail with information on how to activate and start using their free Office 365 suite. Educators from Church Schools and Independent Schools are advised to check with their school representatives on how to activate their software