COVID-19 and the resulting lockdown measures have impacted over 1.72 billion learners around the world, leaving them with little or no option to continue their education. Millions have lost their jobs and livelihoods and need reskilling to regain employment.
Recognising the catastrophic effects of the pandemic on millions of people who are already unemployed or on the verge of losing their jobs, Coursera, one of world’s leading eLearning providers announced the Coursera Workforce Recovery Initiative as an immediate solution to the challenges face by the people and has invited various governments to take part in the effort.
In May 2020, COL entered into this partnership with Coursera to promote the initiative to enable unemployed citizens of the Commonwealth Member States to avail this opportunity. All registered learners in the COL-Coursera Workforce Recovery Initiative are offered unlimited and free access to 3,800 courses designed to skill and reskill them for their employment and livelihoods. The courses are taught by highly reputed professors and mentors from well recognised universities and institutions around the world.
Learners from almost all Commonwealth nations have access to the programme until 31 December 2020. Upon successful completion of courses, they are awarded shareable and verifiable certificates by Coursera and the participating institution.
Within the first four months of the launch of this initiative, COL has admitted over 80,000 unemployed citizens of the Commonwealth to gain skills to regain employment, with more than 10,000 people graduating. COL and Coursera organised the first virtual Convocation for Africa on 18 August 2020 recognising 2,300 graduates. The second convocation for the Caribbean was held on 22 September to recognise the efforts of over 3,000 graduates from 11 Commonwealth countries. Subsequently, similar events are planned to honour of our graduates from Asia and the Pacific.