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Roundup: More colleges in Kenya switch to on-line education

Xinhua, April 13, 2015 Adjust font size:

An increasing number of colleges in Kenya are turning to the internet to offer their courses as they seek to reach more students.

The switch to on-line platforms is being prompted by the rise in number of internet users in the East African nation.

APTECH is the latest institution to roll out its programs on the internet. The information and communication technology institution has started an on-line university to reach tens of students that cannot be able to physically access its courses.

"With the world constantly shifting to the virtual platform, we believe that education too should move beyond the classroom. Onlinevarsity is Aptech's unique offering to its students that provides additional benefits beyond classroom lectures and notes," Sudhir Gupta, a manager at Aptech, said on Saturday, adding that the institution is offering the cloud-based learning programs in collaboration with Edulink International.

Students who register for courses receive all their study material on the portal. "Students also have access to reference material, articles, blogs and expert video tutorials related to their courses," said Gupta.

He noted that Kenya is leading among countries with a higher number of internet users in Africa, the reason why it is perfect place to run the virtual varsity.

The East African nation, according to the Communication Authority, had 16.4 million internet subscriptions as at December last year.

The number of data subscriptions had grown by 25 percent from the previous quarter as internet service providers embraced fiber optic transmission.

"Kenyan techies and information technology companies have earned worldwide praise for their ability to sync with the needs of the domestic market. Two of the country's much-touted success stories, M-Pesa and Ushahidi (a platform that crowd-sources information during disasters) began as solutions to local problems. It shows there is demand for on-line services in Kenya, people are looking for on-line solutions that save time," said Gupta.

The on-line varsity, according to him, already has an impact in the country's education sector as it moves from traditional way of learning to blended learning.

"We are getting good feedback from students. They are very much excited with our platform. We are looking to enrol about 300 students this year. Students must have user accounts on the Onlinevarsity after they enrol with us. After confirmation their login details, they can access resources available on the website on their mobile phones, giving them true freedom," said Gupta.

Raj Gill, the Chief Operating Officer of Edulink International College, noted that by using the on-line platforms, both the student and institution saves money and time.

"Our lecturers from across the world access this platform and issue ebooks to students. There is no headache of order, shipping and storing of books. Students get flexibility of reading material as per their convenience. Apart from books, they get expert advice from all parts of the world. The curriculum is structured to equip students right from the fundamentals to the more advanced web- based and enterprise application." Endi