8 May 2020, Burnaby, Canada –The Commonwealth of Learning (COL) has entered into a partnership with Coursera to facilitate free access to 3,800 courses designed to skill and reskill citizens of Commonwealth Member States for livelihoods.
The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting lockdown measures have impacted over 1.6 billion learners around the world, leaving them with little or no option to continue their education. Millions have lost their jobs and need reskilling to regain employment. Coursera has recently announced the Coursera Workforce Recovery Initiative, as an immediate solution to the challenges faced by people. It will offer these courses free of charge to COL stakeholders.
Professor Asha Kanwar, COL President and CEO, stated: “COL is pleased to partner with Coursera to make a difference to the lives of thousands of people of the Commonwealth whose immediate need is to acquire skills for regaining employment.”
This initiative allows COL to work with partners of its Skills Online initiative, Focal Points in each of the 54 nations of the Commonwealth, and members of the newly formed International Partnership of Distance and Online Learning for COVID-19.
“We are honoured to partner with Commonwealth of Learning to support people of the Commonwealth who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19. By accessing courses on Coursera, unemployed citizens will gain job-relevant skills for a swift return to the workforce,” said Leah Belsky, Chief Enterprise Officer at Coursera.
COL has established a helpdesk, with experts around the world, to provide the unemployed learners with a choice of courses, administrative and academic support, along with mentorship and counselling.
Commonwealth Member States can enrol their unemployed citizens in any of the Coursera courses through September 30, 2020, and learners can complete courses and obtain certifications by December 31, 2020. Coursera courses are taught by 200 of the world’s leading university and industry educators attuned to the need of equipping people with skills for employment.
Created by Commonwealth Heads of Government in 1987, the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) helps Member States and institutions harness the potential of distance learning and technologies to expand access to education and training and address the education challenges of today. For COL, learning is the key to sustainable development and must lead to opportunities for economic growth, social inclusion and environmental conservation. Visit www.col.org for more details.
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