It was a year ago since I started to look for relevant postgraduate studies, my considerations were a program that is affordable, reflects my career trajectory, and 100% is online delivered, sadly I didn’t manage to get one for just only that last consideration. I thought the pandemic (I mean Covid-19.) would be a wake-up call for higher education institutions to harness the transformational powers of remote learning, meanwhile they responded to nothing other than stopping to provide even those full-time in-campus programs.
What prevents us from going forward?
Is a question that I can’t get any logical answers to, We have all that takes to transform the learning environment for good yet we simply stopped from going further. Have we really reached that famous Hanson’s great filter of human civilization and decided to agree with Fermi paradox? I hope we are not that lazy civilization to stop here and if so, the succeeding civilizations are going to joke on us that we were so dunderheads for failing to cross such a small filter as this one. We have covid-19 roaming outside amid high-speed internet connection, the influx of inexpensive digital technologies, pre-established multimedia learning platforms, and students who are ready to enlist in those online programs yet we are still skipping academic years.
My mother used to tell me.
Hakuna mahara maisha yamewahi kuwa rahisi, ni sisi ndio tunakuwa Imara
She simply implies to there was no time life was easier, it is us who are getting stronger. This is our true nature, we as humans, have faced a lot of problems, we learned from them, solved or adapted to new ways that will not give rise to the same problems, we are resilient and intelligent enough to recover from anything. I think most of us have already forgotten the efforts made by our predecessor societies. If Lapita people were so Goose they could have isled and perished in those pacific islands but they refused and decided to cross the uncharted miles of pacific waters with traditional navigational systems that were inferior and most of them were in the test run, yet they managed to colonize the Pacific.
May be we can take control of Covid-19 in the future, but it proved to us that we were not prepared and we are not that fast to adapt to new ways, I don’t want to believe the level of human assertiveness and intelligence decreases as time goes on but our response to emergencies convincing me to agree with that.
This pandemic challenged every sector of our modern economies, On the side of these methods we are using to deliver knowledge it highlighted major bugs that we did not anticipated. Yet we are stumbling on these lifeless learning spaces that were cursed to us for centuries, we need to understand that Education cannot wait even in normal times, kids living through conflict and crisis are missing out on education and the situation is worsening due to the pandemic, It is shocking to know that 75 million kids miss out on the education they deserve because of conflict, natural disasters, or other crises and the pandemic is still juking the stats, We should never let this pandemic put an end to education because education cannot wait.
I think it has come to a time when educational institutions and authorities need to act in this challenging time of human history we need to adapt to this new life, let everything happen wherever possible by creating an environment to enable this transformation for good, I think instructors will have more time with their families and kids will have more time with their parents while safe at home.
There is an option, if the authorities and educational institutions are not willing to adopt, then they have to recognize, empower, adopt, support and accredit those who shows efforts to bring access to learning in this challenging times, for higher education institutions and recruiters it’s high time to recognize professional certificates, nano degrees, learning paths and diplomas offered by online MOOCs like Coursera, edX, Alison, Udacity, Futurelearn and many others. Yes it is high time,
“if you can’t help others at least don’t hurt them” 14th Dalai Lama
Let not using the famous words “from recognized institutes” and instead recognize them now, I am pretty sure there are online MOOCs that offers world’s best classes than those given in most of the conventional colleges we have attended, Yet recruiters and educational institutions keep pushing these efforts backward. What’s matter with you guys, are you maintaining a status quo or you are just naturally conservatives who would rather perish than trying new ways?. You better rearrange your philosophies because nature is not about your policies, you must realize it’s a high time to accept the changes.
Let this not be our Hanson’s great filter or any other form of agreeing to Fermi’s paradox, this pandemic is pushing us to pre-cyberpunk era let us harness it and if Kardashev scale is true then let us go to civilization type II.