By Grace Wekesa
More women are learning through online academic programmes compared to men.
According to Advanced Learning Interactive Systems Online (Alison), a provider of free online studies, 65 per cent of those who enroll are women who previously could not access the services.
Speaking to The Standard in Doha, Qatar, during the World Innovation Summit for Education, Mike Feerick, Alison’s founder said the learners – either working class women or illiterate women – were looking for certificates for basic and essential workplace skills.
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“This goes to show that women all over the world are yearning for education and a chance to transform their lives,” Feerick noted.
Alison has two million learners in the world, with one million of those coming from Africa. Additionally, it has 350,000 graduates who have successfully completed their courses.
Out of those, Nigeria has the highest number with 50,000 online learners while South Africa has 40,000, Ghana 30,000 and Kenya 20,000.
India is expected to become the biggest basis for online learners, surpassing the UK and US in the next six weeks.
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“The potential of the continent is more secure when its people are more enlightened through education. Africa has enthusiastic learners eager to take up new courses that are being offered online,” he observed.
The courses are offered free of charge.
There are 500 online courses currently being offered at the institution, with English and information technology being the most sought after.
Some of the courses on offer are business and entrepreneurship skills, health literacy, financial and economic, food safety, analytical studies and website design skills among others.