The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many disruptions in various economic sectors worldwide. The Gambia has been affected as well and today its education sector is taking a different route and delivering the much needed and anticipated knowledge through new mediums. Online classes have taken over as most institutions today in the nation, from primary, secondary to tertiary have adopted to deliver their curricula on online platforms as opposed to using the conventional classroom settings methodology. The University of Potomac defines the two concepts as being called “Bricks and Mortars” and “E-Learning”. In the first approach the students enrolled participate in classes carried out on campus live with the lecturers. In the second setting, the curriculum is delivered on online platforms via the Internet and the students can follow their courses via their computers, tablets or smartphone devices of choice from any location they choose to do from. Various platforms such as Moodle, Blackboard and many others are used for this purpose. Everything from the classes to the notes to the discussion forums are held on these platforms for millions of users around the globe daily.
According to the Corporate Finance Institute, E-Learning has granted students great freedom and abilities to pursue their training and a great number of individuals are joining this trend. The Babson Survey Research Group 2015 Report conveyed that the number of enrollments in E-Learning grew 5.8 percent and that this figure has been growing steadily for the past 13 years. Most people are under the impression that online classes are easier to attend then conventional classes. This is far from being the truth since according to the same source, students are still expected to focus their time and efforts accordingly to be successful as well. However, students have some advantages, notably the one learning any topic of choice that shall enable them to get a promotion or gain employment. Most people get certified online for various programs available today on the Internet. In 2020, close to 65 percent of employers in the U.S. seek to hire individuals with Advanced Education.
Another key advantage according to the same source is the flexibility that E-Learning allows to its learners. Working professionals can better their skills at home after work, individuals with families to raise can schedule their classes during their downtime every day. The options are limitless and one can participate in the classes from anywhere as long as they have access to the Internet.
Furthermore, the acquisition of technical skills is actually easier to attain for most individuals with the endless possibilities to practice and download relevant materials that the online environment offers. The digital era that we live in today requires that managers be equipped with these skills to make them attractive to any organisations looking to hire or promote.
This being the case, the question that first comes to mind is the one of knowing how the Leaders in our communities are going to shift their minds. Gambian students are faced with no other choice at present, but to embrace the new methods of E-Learning which are going to require that they think out of the box. Young minds just like theirs are innovating and pioneering in Silicon Valley located in California, U.S.A. and earning six figure incomes thanks to the various skills that they acquire online, on an ongoing basis, at their own pace.
The current pandemic has left many companies thinking about their bottom line and how to strategize accordingly to remain sustainable in the post COVID-19 era. The vaccines are in their clinical trial phases and may not be available for manufacturing or distribution for another couple of months, if not more. Nonetheless, the health sector and the IT sector are currently the most sought out areas, where massive opportunities are being created for job seekers. Freelancers are working remotely with companies such as Microsoft Corp, Amazon, Netflix to name a few, that have seen their revenues surge as consumers demand more and more IT goods and services around the globe. These online workers or work at home professionals are creating considerable revenue streams thanks to their ability to shift into the profitable sectors and to apply their acquired skills in the IT sector.
Parents and community leaders should be empowered to sensitize the youths so that they in turn can consider taking the challenge and creating opportunities for themselves online as their peers are doing everyday around the globe. Corporations as well should encourage staff members currently working from home to engage in furthering their training online and filling the gaps that their organizations currently have.
Staying home could mean earning a wonderful income from $1,500 USD to $ 2,000 USD weekly in The Gambia, from the comfort of your living room for those that reach out to the various online learning platforms. Acquire the skills, lecturers are ready to shape the minds in our nation and one just has to have an open minded attitude to grasp the wonderful opportunities that IT presents to them every day. Most Gambians are very present on various social media platforms available today. Whether on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, or Twitter, millions of individuals around the globe have studied and mastered the strategies to apply to earn very good incomes thanks to blogging and advertising revenue that they are paid by third parties. When are our communities going to seize the opportunities and create excellent, competitive salaries for themselves?
The regulating authorities in The Gambia will eventually publish reports concerning the pandemic and its socio-economic consequences. One should expect to see that a valuable lesson was learned during these challenging times and that recommendations will be made for the appropriate legislation to follow and enable learning institutions in The Gambia to deliver online training permanently. IT is the way of the future, so let us all embark and tame the rollercoaster to the benefit of the nation and its citizens. “Education is the Key to Success.”