— says Coursera CEO of Guyana’s response to Workforce Recovery Initiative
“I HAVE never seen anything like it across the world”. This was the observation of Jeff Maggioncalda, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for Coursera on the response from Guyanese towards the Workforce Recovery Initiative offered by the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) and Coursera.
The CEO was delivering remarks at a virtual convocation ceremony for 3,000 persons from eleven Caribbean countries who have recently completed courses being offered by reputable universities across the globe through COL/Coursera.
Guyanese have been registering in record numbers for the courses on offer, with 33,505 registering and 709 graduating thus far. According to Professor Asha Kanwar, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Commonwealth of Learning, “The uptake in Guyana has exceeded all expectations a,nd the numbers continue to grow.”
In her address to the convocation ceremony, Minister of Education Priya Manickchand noted that the CoL/Coursera Workforce Recovery Initiative holds deep implications for Guyana.
“As a developing nation currently situating itself to maximise the potential of our recent oil discoveries and our other strategic initiatives, the quality of our human capital is critically important,” she said.
Further, the Education Minister said COVID-19 has displaced many individuals and as a country, “we are still grappling with the wider implications of the pandemic as well as a notoriously extended elections period.”
Praises for the education minister, who has personally driven the programme, have come from the senior adviser on Government Partnerships at Coursera, Chad Pasha, who took to Facebook to say, “So proud of Guyana. Two per cent of the entire country enrolled in Coursera in just 10 days.” Also tagged were the MoE and the Minister of Education’s personal page with the comment, “Can’t wait to see what’s to come for the nation.”
This initiative marks Coursera’s first institutional partnership in the region, and is part of a long-term commitment to helping citizens prepare for a digital future, and provides 4,000 free Online courses on the Coursera platform in various areas ,such as Art, Business, Computer Science, Health, Social Science, and Engineering.
Persons who have not yet taken advantage of the Government of Guyana/Coursera initiative can do so by registering via the Ministry of Education’s website education.gov.gy/upskill. The deadline for registration is October 31, 2020. (Ministry of Education’s Public Relations Department)