Why Kenya should fully embrace online learning

By Kingsley Ndiewo | Monday, Mar 23rd 2020 at 15:56
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As the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to ravage the world, and countries slowly begin to adopt quarantine rules, more and more people are working from home, doing their business online, relying on deliveries for shopping and food and so on. Here in Kenya, schools and universities have closed for extended periods. Yet life must continue - the country cannot afford to simply press pause until the crisis abates.

For people in the tech industry, remote working is not new. And many Kenyans are already doing degree programs by correspondence or otherwise remotely. It's time to extend this to all learning. In fact, education will be all the better for it.

Rather than growing the teaching capacity of the nation largely by building more brick-and-mortar schools, which is expensive and slow, why not take advantage of our world-class internet - we now have 5 fiber optic cables connecting Kenya to the world - to become a proper digital population.

Globally, companies such as Coursera, Udemy, and EdX are leading the charge to fully online courses. From programming courses to business nano degrees, you can study quite a lot online. Why not have fully online high schools?

Locally, companies such as GINI Centre for Applied Sciences are offering fully online programming courses. The next logical step should be online in secondary schools - regulated by the government. Enough platforms such as Moodle exist that allow for virtual classrooms, exams, and even progress reporting.

In a highly competitive 21st century world, we cannot possibly allow ourselves to get bogged down with doing everything the traditional way. Companies adopted in the 20th century to computers, and businesses are now jumping on the big data, machine learning, and AI bandwagon.

Everyone is talking about the 4th Industrial revolution. It's time we began to prepare future generations for it.

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