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Trinidad and Tobago boost education through online course

NEW PROGRAMME: Free online university course will improve the skills needed for the country to be more competitive in a variety of fields

TRINIDAD AND Tobago’s government will be teaming up with one of the world’s biggest online university course providers to boost local education opportunities.

The partnership with US-based Coursera, which offers free online university courses, will provide a network of online learning materials across the Caribbean country.

The country’s Minister of Tertiary Education, Fazal Karim, told the BBC it would improve the skills needed for the country to be more competitive in a variety of fields.

Karim said it would open up a "world of opportunity" for Trinidad.

The twin island country’s aim is to become more connected with the global community and gain access to the world’s best teachers and professors.

And with one of the highest mobile penetration rates in the world at 139 per cent, Trinidad and Tobago is said to be well positioned to be a leader in using online learning to bridge barriers to education at a nationwide level.

OPPORTUNITY: Minister of Tertiary Education and Skills Training Fazal Karim

Lila Ibrahim, Chief Business Officer at Coursera said: “The government of Trinidad and Tobago is early to recognize the potential of online learning to enhance local education opportunities.”

“We’re looking forward to working together to explore how we can bring awareness and value of online education credentials to both citizens of Trinidad and Tobago and employers.”

The partnership will provide online courses, learning materials and television programmes.

There will be learning centres on the university campuses where students will be able to get help from mentors, and accreditation and college credits from the online courses.

It will be promoted by the website, which will be a gateway to free online courses in areas such as business, technology, computer programming, entrepreneurship and music.

Mr Karim said it was a "very important step" for Trinidad, which is already on target to have 60 per cent of young people participating in further and higher education by next year.

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