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MOOCs can address the skills gap and make higher education accessible and affordable to disadvantaged students.

MOOCs can be very efficient in addressing the cost of Higher ed by students taking free online courses equivalent to college degree programs

Photo of Kibogora Nsoro
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 MOOCs essentially Massive Open Online Courses where by education technology companies are partnering with Higher Learning institutions to offer their courses online for free, most education companies such as edx, udacity, coursera to mention but few were  started by college professors. MOOCs  proved be disruptive innovation because students whoever got access to Internet and computer can have access to the world class education at lowest cost possible, although there reported to be big number of dropouts and low completion rates among MOOCs takers. For example university degree in US. cost varies from 5000 to $50,000 which doesn't include the living expenses. Where as MOOCs can be much cheaper  for  third world students to acquire the same standard of education from their western counterparts inclusive the data cost and device itself.

However, the cost of internet is terribly expensive here in Africa.Although some  governments in developing economies trying to working with regulators to subsidies the cost of Internet,I strongly believe if online education can be accredited with its equivalency with  traditional colleges  can address skills gaps.There a lot to be done to address this challenge for instance access to college education here in Africa still a nightmare for most households, in my country  Rwanda almost 80%  of its population depends on subsistence farming with per capital income of $695.7,  most parents and guardians will  sacrifice their life savings to pay tuition fees for their children at traditional college which costs almost $2000 per year for one student.

 Rwanda with its digital ambition which still rebuilding its economy should be on the first line to push online education to its people to capitalize on the free learning online content.There are should be emphasis on population about online education,and recognition of online education to accreditation boards and employers when it come to hiring.

MOOCs  has definite success stories around the world in career advancement, some grads students who have taken MOOCs out their field of study has been able to land new jobs in high tech startups even 500 fortunes companies.  

Massive efforts has to be done to make it happen, I am pretty sure this will be new reality in addressing skills gap  faced by African countries,where by biggest percentage its population made  up by young adults who need to be educated.

One poet and philosopher called "Henry David Thoreau"  once said "We boast of our system of education, but why stop at schoolmasters and schoolhouses? We are all schoolmasters, and our schoolhouse is the universe. To attend chiefly to the desk or schoolhouse while we neglect the scenery in which it is placed is absurd. If we do not look out we shall find our find schoolhouse standing in a cow-yard at last."

What he really meant was education can be acquired through different experiences not only by attending physical classes,today at 21st century you can have access to education contents from elite schools almost for free without travelling thousands of miles of paying thousands of dollars,by the power technology you can get access to world class education through MOOCs.

What is a provocation or insight that might inspire others during this challenge?

MOOCs and its disruptive potential

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Photo of Kévin MASSE

thanks for sharing this!