Online education has become very popular around the world. It has been several years since more and more people have started to enrich their knowledge in different professions through online universities or short courses. Even though in 2022 pandemic regulations are mostly over and every university and school continues teaching in classrooms, the popularity of online education remains very in demand. For example, in 2021 statistics from Coursera showed that more than 20 million new students registered as soon as they started online education.
As online education continues to be a trend, it has become one of the quickest solutions for countries where the education sector struggles because of a lack of resources and attention. One of the great examples is African countries where online education can be the main helpful strategy to get the population more educated and increase the accessibility to education. Today, we will talk about how Africa can use online learning as an advantage and way of reducing problems in the educational system.
Why Do African Countries Need High-developed Online Education?
In African countries, the number of students who study in foreign countries is increasing every year. There are many of them who choose to continue higher education in other countries because of a lack of effort and possibilities in their countries. Also, they struggle with a low rate of employment which makes higher education not worthwhile in Africa. So, they try to find countries where living expenses are acceptable and universities accept foreign students.
As the migration of students and young people, in general, is high in Africa, it can have a very negative influence on the continent in the future. It will outline human resources, economics, and many sectors, as future human labor is today’s students. If they leave Africa, there is a lower chance that they will come back. In this negative situation, online education can become the best way to make students more interested in continuing learning in Africa and not leaving their homeland. Why is online education helpful?
First of all, it is more available than traditional education. All you need is a good internet connection and you have access to millions of different courses where you can find the most interesting ones and narrow your professional field. Also, with prices, online courses are more affordable which is an essential factor for African students, as economic and living quality is mostly low in African countries. Also, there are tons of different courses which you can attend for free, and even get a free certificate if you pass exams well.
It is a positive fact to mention that most African countries saw this helpful possibility of online education and started to develop this sector. Today, there are more online universities, colleges, and courses available for African students than ever. They include different types of professions and give students practical knowledge in a very short period of time. There are some trendy courses that are outstanding because of their conditions. So everyone can check online education resources for Africans listed or rated on different platforms.
The interest from students is getting higher and higher which we can see from the latest data. For example, before the pandemic there were approximately 474 million online students across African countries, this number has now increased to 565.6 million students. It is also expected that this number will exceed 610 million in 2023 and by 2025, the number of students who will study in African online educational institutions will raise up to 700 million students. This positive prediction is not only because of high interest but also because of the higher accessibility of the internet.
What Online Resources are Available for African Students
Today, African students can develop their knowledge and professional skills through many online resources including online courses and universities. Even traditional physical-learning institutions started to implement some of the popular online resources to manage students’ work better. For example, many universities started using the Moodle system which is a well-known platform where students can upload their work, ask questions, have contact with coursemates and directions, as well as lecturers, and can rate students.
The main supporter for Africa to develop the online education sector and make it more affordable and available for students is UNESCO. They have very active collaboration with African countries to improve the quality and availability of the internet and provide students with the needed technology to attend classes. So the number of cheaper devices such as smartphones and laptops is now the main purpose for technology producers in Africa.
Today, for African students the most popular online educational institution is MOOCs which makes different types of open online courses for thousands of Africans. Each student group includes 30 students maximum. Another successful platform is GetSmarter.
Additionally, we have to note UNICAF which is Africa’s largest online university with different bachelor, master, or Ph.D. courses. In total, they have 30 000 students. African countries continue to increase online education possibilities and maximize internet access where international organizations and famous companies are actively involved.