The free online learning platform, ALISON, which says it has 150,000 Ghanaians using the website, intends to double the number.
Describing Ghana as one of its fastest growing markets for free online learning with Project Management, Business Management & Entrepreneurship, Human Resources and Languages as the popular subjects, ALISON says users of its platform can be tested in the subject area they have studied.
In an exclusive interview with ghanabusinessnews.com by email, ALISON CEO and Founder Mike Feerick in response to a question about the integrity of ALISON courses in the face of an expose about fake honourary degrees, said “More than anything, if a learner from Ghana or elsewhere boasts of successfully completing a course on ALISON, they can be literally tested on that course at any time by anyone owning a smartphone. Our systems work like how typing used to years ago. If you said that you could type at 50 words per minute, you were open to someone showing you to a typewriter and asking you to type! Similarly, all ALISON graduates can be so tested. The fact is the world of work is today much more concerned about what you know now than what you used to know once upon a time – which is what other certificates indicate.”
Feerick told ghanabusinessnews.com, ALISON, founded in 2007 is now a global leader in free online certified learning and skills training for the workplace.
“It has approaching eight million learners and one million graduates, with a further 250,000 new learners registering each month. ALISON has over one million registered learners in the USA, UK, and India and across the continent of Africa. We have recently entered into a major partnership with the Indian Government to upskills of millions of India’s in practical workplace skills by 2022,” he said.
Asked how the platform makes money, he said, the learning platform is supported by a combination of advertising revenue, parchment sales, and learning management tools (free at a basic level).
On what is driving Ghanaians to ALISON, Feerick said Ghanaians have many different reasons for learning on ALISON.
“For some, it is about professional development – they want to acquire new skills and knowledge to help them in their current jobs and their careers. Some are college students who want to augment their studies by completing practical workplace focused courses – for example a business student who wants to be able to understand how to code. For others they may have been forced to drop out of traditional education for financial reasons and were never able to achieve their full academic potential,” he said.
According to Feerick, Access to technology and digital literacy skills remain a problem but the spread of mobile technology in Ghana and across the continent of Africa offers significant opportunities for more people, regardless of financial circumstances or location, to access education and basic skills training online.
“We expect that over the next 12 months we will double the number of learners we have in Ghana,” he said.
By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi
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