Microsoft equips Thai youth for era of AI

Microsoft equips Thai youth for era of AI

Partnership with Office of the Basic Education Commission led to recent launch of National E-Library initiative with AI-powered search

Bangkok, 14 January 2019 – Microsoft (Thailand) Limited is reinforcing its commitment to drive the development of digital knowledge and skills for Thais of all ages through its support of Thailand’s first National E-Library program – the latest in a long line of initiatives and activities that empower Thai youth for the era of artificial intelligence.

Khun Dhanawat Suthumpun, Managing Director of Microsoft Thailand, said, “Microsoft understands the importance of revolutionizing the education system in the digital era. This is the reason why we are currently working closely with the government and other relevant organizations to help Thailand achieve its goal while also growing sustainably. We believe that adoption of a modern platform will benefit the education of Thai youth and help the country successfully overcome limitations in transforming to a digital economy and society. We remain fully committed to enhancing the learning experience, especially in the era where AI is playing an increasingly important role.”

The National E-Library initiative – formed under a partnership between the Office of the Basic Education Commission, the Digital Government Development Agency (Public Organization), the Information and Communication Technology Center, Office of the Permanent Secretary, and the National Library of Thailand – is aimed at strengthening the collaborative effort to create sustainable growth and develop quality workforce in Thailand by equipping them with digital skills. Furthermore, the program encourages every youth to gain access to learning opportunities that range from establishing the fundamentals of digital skills and teaching coding skills for youth and teachers across the country to fostering future app developers and innovators in order to help Thailand overcome digital limitations in the digital economy era.

Data from the Department of Employment[1] shows that the age group with the highest unemployment rate is among those between 20-24 years old, which reflects the fact that most fresh university graduates still lack the qualifications that the current market requires. In order to ensure that Thai youth are equipped with necessary skills that make them future ready for the digital era, Microsoft is working with the public sector and non-profit organizations beyond the scope of the National E-Library development initiative to organize different activities that equip next-generation Thais with digital competencies – especially computer science skills, which also foster problem solving skills and creativity. The initiatives include:

The National E-Library’ development is an initiative that brings a collection of books to an online platform on www.nel.go.th with a purpose to effectively develop digital knowledge and electronic curriculums in the country and facilitate fast, widespread access to useful information. The Library is classified into different categories: e-books, e-magazines, video clips, e-documents and online database – all of which can be searched using the ISBN searching system in line with the National Library of Thailand’s standards. There is also a plan to extend the service into application format within the next three months to provide a knowledge platform for everyone, starting from younger generations who serve as the essential foundation in realizing Thailand’s potential.

Microsoft Thailand is supporting the development of 3 key features in the National E-Library project:

  1. E-Library – Development and deployment of the application as well as all back-end systems, including library usage statistic reports;
  2. Chatbot – A book searching system powered by AI, allowing users to conveniently search for books they are interested in by simply typing in the name. The chatbot can also answer questions from the users to help them find the right book on the website or the application more quickly and precisely;
  3. E-learning – In addition, Microsoft also offers recommendations on interesting courses, new lessons, class scheduling, and video content to provide an enhanced digital learning experience through technology.

‘Hour of Code’ is part of an ongoing campaign which was developed in line with Microsoft’s mission to help the country move forward into the ‘Thailand 4.0’ era through encouragement and a development of digital skills. The annual campaign seeks to get kids started in computer science and help them get ready for Thailand’s digital future. The 6th Hour of Code Thailand, which was held in December 2018, drew more than 5,000 children, teachers, educations and disabled people from non-profit organizations to learn coding skills which help increase their competency in creating new technologies as well as strengthen the national quality personnel development.

“Smart Living with Micro:bit”, held in partnership with SiriVentures under the “Smart Living” concept,

was Thailand’s first competition where general and vocational students were encouraged to come up with creative ideas that facilitate and enhance daily life, and develop these ideas into tangible projects using micro:bit boards to strengthen youth interest in STEM education,  and encourage them to pursue career paths that ensure success in the digital future. The competition also helped children practice coding through the MakeCode: Micro:bit application.

Microsoft’s Imagine Cup competition challenges Thai student developers to create cloud-based solutions that will change the world. To reflect the current state of digital transformation and empower Imagine Cup competitors with more opportunities to build their cloud development skills. Participants are asked to pitch their projects for a chance to win cash prizes, Azure credit, and mentoring opportunity that can take their projects to the next level. In Thailand, the competition has been held for the past 16 years, and the latest winning team was Team BeeConnex from King Monkut’s University of Technology Thonburi who received the royal trophy from HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn in December 2018.

 Thailand Innovative Teacher is a competition where Thai teachers’ information technology integrated academic works from kindergarten, elementary, secondary and vocational levels are showcased. In 2019, the 15th Thailand Innovative Techer will be held to encourage Thai teachers to use technology as part of their teaching tools and for them to showcase their works that benefit Thailand’s education industry. Microsoft Thailand provides an innovation support for creative teaching. Each year, over 500 hundred teachers participate in the competition. This year, the winner from Thailand will also get an opportunity to attend the teachers’ and educational executives’ conference “Microsoft Partners in Learning Global Forum”.

###

About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

Established in 1993, Microsoft (Thailand) Limited aims to Make 70 Million Lives Better by enabling Thai people and businesses to realize their full potential through technology that transforms the way people work, play, and communicate. We offer software, services, and devices that deliver new opportunities, greater convenience, and enhanced value to people’s lives. Working with communities and the Thai government, Microsoft and its partners are committed to working closely with organizations and people across Thailand to fully harness the power of technology and innovation.

 Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Thailand News Center (http://news.microsoft.com/th-th/), or keep track of the latest updates through the Microsoft Thailand Twitter account (@MicrosoftTH).