Africa: Free Online Courses Could Be a Path to Higher Education in African Countries but Awareness Is Low read full article at

Sub-Saharan Africa is among the largest areas on the planet and has the bottom charges of participation in increased training anyplace on the planet. The World Financial institution reported in 2020 that solely 9.4% of the area’s tertiary training age group is enrolled. The worldwide common ratio is 38%.

Schooling is a key catalyst of economic emancipation. Open and distance training was particularly designed for this objective: to make increased training accessible to everybody, in all places. Since it is not restricted to at least one campus or bodily area, this strategy empowers college students to take full accountability for his or her research, to be taught anyplace and at any time. Importantly, this occurs with the next training establishment’s assist and steering.

One of many programmes generally provided by such universities in different components of the world is the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). These are free, simply accessible and fully on-line programs with no entry necessities. In some creating nations outdoors Africa, such because the Philippines, Thailand and India, MOOCs are already being credited on the nationwide degree for entry into formal college training. This will increase entry to increased training.

MOOCs are comparatively new in Africa; they’ve change into extra frequent previously 5 or ten years. On paper they are perfect for many African contexts. Egyptian training researcher Ghada Refaat El Mentioned writes that MOOCs can successfully alleviate

overcrowded school rooms, excessive prices of supplies and books, commuting difficulty on account of excessive traffic, and a necessity for continued training and specialised coaching for the workforce.

However how precisely are MOOCs being utilized by African universities? Are any nations’ training techniques successfully utilizing MOOCs to widen increased training entry? To seek out out, we analysed current peer-reviewed analysis printed between 2013 and 2020.

We discovered that not many African nations understand MOOCs as instruments for enhancing increased training entry. The place these programs are provided, they’re normally supplementary or designed merely to offer college students further tuition assist. And there is not a lot consciousness of MOOCs amongst faculty academics and learners, who then miss out on this potential various path into increased training.

What we discovered

We searched the Sabinet, Scopus and Web of Science databases for papers by African authors about MOOCs. This produced 99 papers. Our examine was primarily based on the 15 that have been most related to our inclusion and exclusion standards and that particularly addressed African points round MOOCs.

A key discovering was that MOOCs are principally used as a self-learning factor to assist formal {qualifications} inside African universities. In some circumstances, MOOCs contain face-to-face tuition and assist for college college students. Nonetheless, this observe permits solely a restricted variety of learners to entry increased training. For essentially the most half, it caters solely to those that are already within the system.

The literature evaluate additionally reveals that most individuals from African nations taking these programs already possess some degree of upper training. So, once more, the prevailing training entry divide will not be addressed.

Among the research we reviewed discovered that many learners and academics at highschool degree did not even know what MOOCs have been as a result of that they had no entry to digital areas.

The literature means that just a few nations in Africa – amongst them Nigeria, Egypt and South Africa – appear to have at the least acknowledged the function that MOOCs may play in broadening increased training entry. However this has not but been translated into nationwide coverage.

Examples from elsewhere

We discovered that MOOCs are already getting used as a part of mainstream credit-bearing programs in some establishments within the Philippines, Thailand and India. Meaning finishing a MOOC can rely in direction of entry to a college diploma. It helps make the diploma extra reasonably priced.

Learn extra: How online courses can bring the world into Africa’s classrooms

One other discovering associated to how MOOCs in some creating nations are being efficiently packaged with recognition of prior studying programmes. This can be a course of by which casual studying can, with strict measurements and mediation, be licensed – because the South African {Qualifications} Authority describes it – “against the requirements for credit, access, inclusion or advancement in the formal education and training system, or workplace”.