In a bid to support the Skill India and Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan movements, ‘aisectmoocs.com’ has been launched as India’s largest free online open learning platform. This Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) portal, launched by the Bhopal-based education group AISECT, will offer over 2,000 courses including school courses, skill courses and higher education courses. This is the largest number of courses introduced on an Indian MOOC platform till date. All courses onaisectmoocs.com will be free of cost.
For this initiative, AISECT has partnered with Ireland-based ALISON, which is the global leader in free online certified skills training for the workplace with 7 million registered learners and 800,000 graduates worldwide. All 750+ diploma and certificate level ALISON courses will be offered through the AISECT MOOC portal. Additionally, AISECT will offer courses on school curriculum as well as courses on higher education subjects. Initially, the course curriculum will be available in English and Hindi but more regional language content will be added to the MOOC platform over the next few months.
As per AISECT’s Director (Business Services) Mr. Abhishek Pandit, “I strongly feel that 2016 is going to be an inflection year for MOOCs in India and we have launched the AISECT MOOC in order to contribute to this revolution. Our portal encourages inclusivity in education by giving students in the remotest corners of the country easy and free access to world-class course curriculum. Unlike other MOOC platforms that are completely online and don’t have a scope for learning with peers, we will give students access to our widespread network of education centres across the country so that they will have the option of utilizing the infrastructure of the centre and take guidance from the Faculty. So, in a blended model students enrolled for an AISECT MOOC course will have the choice of studying at home or coming to the AISECT Centre to make use of the available facilities. Moreover, regional language content will help in deeper penetration of the courses at the below district level areas across the country.”
Over the past few years, the response of students and teachers in India towards MOOCs has been tremendous. This has resulted in Indian students forming the second largest group of students in the world availing the MOOC facilities. Initiatives like AISECT MOOC not only meet the rising demand for viable modes of digital learning, but also hold immense potential of transforming the status of education in the country, especially in the regions that are in dire need of education of international standards. Aisectmoocs.com offers a range of short-term courses in areas like Digital Literacy & IT Skills, Health Literacy, Financial & Economic Literacy, Languages, Personal Development & Soft Skills, Business & Enterprise Skills, Beauty & Wellness, Retail, Electronics, etc. The duration of the courses ranges from three hours to six months and students get an online certificate on successful completion of the course.
On the matter of the partnership with AISECT, Mr. Mike Feerick, CEO & Founder, ALISON said, "ALISON is delighted to partner with AISECT, opening up direct access for Indian learners through AISECT's 23,000 training centres across India to ALISON's free learning resources. The need for what we can provide together has never been greater in India, and we look forward to pioneering transformative and highly scalable learning solutions for workforce training in India in the months ahead."
This MOOC platform is the latest in a series of initiatives that AISECT has taken over the last three decades for uplifting the semi-urban and rural population and bridging the education, employment and entrepreneurship inequalities in the nation. Initiatives like executing skill development programmes in partnership with the Central and State Governments, establishing premier higher education institutions in the underdeveloped regions, providing cost-effective e-learning modules and solutions to K-12 schools, offering placement assistance to the skilled youth, making G2C and banking facilities available in rural areas through e-governance and financial inclusion initiatives and entering into skill development and rural empowerment focused ventures with various national as well as international organizations have greatly helped AISECT in establishing itself as India’s leading ICT and skills-based education, training and services network.