THE Department of Public Affairs has finalised modalities for the establishment of the Guyana Media and Communications Academy in partnership with Coursera.
The academy was conceptualised as a needed intervention that could help to upskill and further professionalise the local industry for the rapidly transforming socio-economic landscape, with media and communication practitioners across the public and private spectrum being provided the opportunity to gain world-class competencies and certifications, as part of the government’s national retooling efforts.
According to a release, the academy will fill the existing void with regards to professional skill-based accreditation for local industry players, as registrants will be able to attain the professional status of ‘accredited’, ‘specialist’ or ‘expert’ practitioners; based on successful completion of prescribed courses for the various study streams under the academy’s ‘Continuous Media Education’-CMED Platform.
Ahead of a formal agreement to be signed shortly to bring the academy into full operation, the Chief Executive Officer of Coursera, Jeff Maggioncalda said, “We are honoured to partner with the Office of the Prime Minister and the Minister with responsibility for Public Affairs, Honourable Kwame McCoy, MP, to prepare the government’s media and communication personnel for a digital future.”
He went on to say, “This collaboration will help the Department of Public Affairs develop the high demand skills needed to communicate crucial policy initiatives and maintain transparency across key government programmes amid rapid transformation, while raising the bar for media across the country.”
Meanwhile, Minister McCoy has expressed high optimism that the academy, which has been long in the making, will serve as a significant booster to the local industry.
“Until now, the vast majority of media and communication personnel in Guyana were learning the fundamental industry skills needed for professional practice through trial and error. The Coursera partnership for the academy will now open up a wide vista of world-class knowledge and skills that will carry international certification and effectively pave the way for recognised skill-based accreditation of both public and private practitioners.”
Coursera, which was launched in 2012, is now one of the largest learning platforms in the world, with 92 million registered learners as of September 30, 2021. Coursera collaborates with over 250 leading university and industry partners including Yale University, University of Michigan, Google, and IBM to offer a broad catalog of content and credentials, including courses, specialisations, professional certificates, guided projects, and bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Institutions and governments around the world use Coursera to upskill and reskill their employees and citizens. (Office of the Prime Minister)