THE NEWSGHOST, NIGERIA – Yesterday, leading online learning platform Coursera announced a new initiative to help governments around the world provide free online courses to workers who have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The initiative dubbed the Workforce Recovery Initiative is to help governments respond to the increasing unemployment caused by the pandemic by offering unemployed workers free access to over 3,800 online courses available on Coursera.
In countries hit badly by the pandemic, more and more businesses are laying off workers due to drastic economic slowdown. Apart from staying unemployed while the pandemic persists, there are also fears that many of those who have lost their jobs now might not have the opportunity to return to them again after the pandemic.
Through the Workforce Recovery Initiative, governments can offer unemployed populations an avenue to learn new skills that will make it easier for them to re-enter the workforce.
According to report, the U.S. states of Illinois, Arizona and Oklahoma, as well as the governments of Colombia, Costa Rica, Greece, Malaysia, Panama, Ukraine and Uzbekistan will be the first to make the initiative available.
Courses offered by Coursera usually cost around $399 a year. But the company’s chief executive officer (CEO) Jeff Maggioncalda says they are pulling down their paywalls because the need for the company’s product is greater than ever.
This new initiative was modeled after a similar initiative named Coursera for Campus launched on March 12 for colleges and universities that closed their campuses due to the coronavirus pandemic. It is available through Cousera’s Cousera for Goverment offering which was introduced in 2017.