You need 30 -40 minutes to complete this exercise
In Activity 10 you have studied a table which shows qualification programmes that are offered by one open school in Southern Africa.
- Which of the programmes in the table are offered in open schools in your context and which ones are not?
- Give reasons why open schools in your context do not offer some of the qualifications in the table.
- In the discussion forum, talk about some of the challenges learners who go through open schooling face when they want to enrol in tertiary institutions in your country?
There are a lot of programmes that are offered in a remote, online, and blended mode in my institute. For example, we have a postgraduate certificate in tertiary teaching which is offered online and accredited by SEDA7.
Most of the certificate and diploma qualifications are offered through online and remote learning mode in the tetiary level - the Kiribati Campus -University of the South Pacific.
The Junior Secondary Certificate and Senior Secondary Certificate programmes are still offered through conventional face-to-face learning mode by the Kiribati Ministry of Education. During the covid19 when schools are closed, the Ministry of Education acts by providing distant education by turning to a remote learning mode approach to ensure all students across the country continue their education from their homes. The radio learning, asynchoronous learning and learning package were used to reach out all students around a dispersed of islands in the Gilbert and the LIne & Phoenix groups.
There were challenges experienced for the means of providing remote learning through the use of radio learning, asynchoronous learning and learning package such as: there was no time for students to ask questions, not everyone at home had a radio and mobile to access to the radio learning and remote learning portal through online, also the internet connection is problematic that was went on and off.
The program that offered here is the junior secondary school qualifications and the senior secondary school qualifications. Other programs are offered in the tertiary level. Students graduate from secondary schools and then they go to tertiary level as secondary graduate. Ministry of education curriculum provide only two programs. Others are offered in the tertiary level. problem that these students face when they go to tertiary level is the mode of learning. Sometimes mode of learning in tertiary is online. Students are not used to this mode of learning. Another problem is use of online platform. Assignments and activities are to dropped in the online drop box where by in the school’s in schools they were used to submitting it to the teachers on hand. Here I’f the students are unable to complete the assignment ,they can request more time from teachers but drop box has a time frame , where the the box closes if it reaches its time frame , regardless to the students dropping the assignment or not.
Talking about the tertiary, secondary and Junior school programs in the table, most of the tertiary programs as per table are available in open school but the concern is mostly focused on face to face mandatory for secondary school curriculums. Education systems do not prefer open school learning for secondary education programs as the major challenge pacific face is the availability of technology such as computer in every household and plus computer illiteracy is another concern in my country.
In general, open schools tend to offer programs that are more flexible and accessible than traditional face-to-face education, such as distance learning, adult education, and vocational training. Some of the programs listed, such as Certificate in English Communication, Certificate in Business and Entrepreneurship, and Diploma in Education for Development, are commonly offered by open schools.
All this qualifications are offered in open schools in our context. The only course not offered are science courses that are practical in nature and have practical hands on activities like Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics. The theoretical parts of the content is offered in open school. Hence blended learning mode. The certificate and diploma courses and postgraduate courses are offered only through remote learning. Online learning is only implemented at Higher Education level.
We offer school certificate programmes except for practicals. In the past, there were vocational and in-service teacher programmes.
The under listed programmes are offered in open schools in our context; Tertiary Level Programmes Certificate in English Communication, Certificate in Education for Development, Certificate in Local Government Studies , Certificate in Early Childhood Development , Certificate in Community-Based Work with Children & Youth , Certificate in Business and Entrepreneurship , Diploma in Early Childhood and Pre-Primary Education , Diploma in Youth Development Work , Diploma in Education for Development , Diploma in Business and Entrepreneurship , Postgraduate Diploma in Open School Operations and Management , Bachelor of Arts in Youth and Community Development.
While these ones are not offered in our context; Junior Secondary School qualification, Senior Secondary School qualification. This is because of the level of learners in terms of age, level of comprehension, facilities to support such learning etc.
The Challenges learners who go through open schooling face when they want to enroll in tertiary institutions include; 1. Difficulty in withstanding long hours of stay in classrooms, 2. Difficulty in coping with laboratory/workshop work ethics and experience. 3. Difficulty in coping with group work or assignment etc
Most of the courses are offered in open campus in my country. There are some which will be blended where some face to face interaction is needed also there may be a practical aspect included.
Recently, there have been discussions about including work experience as part of the matriculation for entry to tertiary institutions. I think this is a great opportunity for learners who need this option and open schools create this venue for persons who are now ready to continue their educational path.
Some challenges will be a new LMS and getting to understand it, working out a routine, time management, technology use, getting accustomed to working on your own, and participating in group work.
None of the listed programmes are offered in my institution. Junior and secondary qualifications are not for polytechnics. The certificate and diploma courses listed may be included later into our curriculum as my institution is just starting the ODFEL programme.
The major challenge an applicant is likely to face during enrolment with be that of internet facilities (issues around bad network from providers)
At my institute we offer the following courses online : Diploma in ICT, Diploma in Community Development , Diploma in Human resource. Other courses are offered using blended approach . They include diploma in Culinary , Diploma in catering and accommodation.
wow!! interested about this.
The availability of programmes offered by open schools can vary widely, depending on the educational institutions and the local demand for such qualifications. Some programmes may not be offered due to resource constraints, lack of demand, or limitations in accreditation.
There can be several reasons why some open schools do not offer certain courses. These reasons may include:
- Resource Constraints: Open schools may have limited resources, including funding, teaching staff, and infrastructure. Offering a wide range of courses can be resource-intensive. Schools must allocate resources judiciously, and this may mean focusing on a specific set of courses.
- Specialization: Some open schools may choose to specialize in certain areas of education, such as adult education, vocational training, or specific skill development programs. Specialization allows them to excel in those areas and serve their target audience effectively.
- Licensing and Accreditation: Offering certain courses may require specific licenses or accreditations, and not all open schools may have the necessary credentials to provide these programs. Obtaining the required approvals can be a complex and time-consuming process.
- Lack of Demand: Open schools often base their course offerings on the demand from their target population. If there is little to no demand for a particular course, it may not be financially viable to offer it.
- Resource Mismatch: Some courses may require specialized facilities, equipment, or expertise that the open school does not possess. For example, courses in fields like medicine, engineering, or laboratory sciences may require extensive resources that are beyond the capabilities of an open school.
- Quality Assurance: Maintaining quality in course offerings is crucial. Open schools may choose not to offer courses in areas where they cannot guarantee the necessary level of quality, instruction, or support.
- Alignment with Mission: Open schools often have a specific mission or target audience. They may choose to offer courses that align closely with their mission and the needs of their learners.
- Government Regulations: Government regulations and policies can influence the courses that open schools are allowed to offer. In some cases, certain programs may require approval or authorization from the government or education authorities.
- Partnerships: Open schools may collaborate with other educational institutions or organizations to provide a wider range of courses. They may rely on partnerships to offer programs outside their core competencies.
- Market Competition: The presence of other educational institutions, including traditional schools and online education providers, can impact the course offerings of open schools. They may choose to focus on areas with less competition or unmet needs.
It’s important to note that the specific reasons can vary from one open school to another. While some open schools may not offer certain courses due to resource limitations, others may choose to specialize in specific areas to better serve their target audience. The decision is often influenced by a combination of factors, including the school’s mission, resources, and the demands of the local or regional educational landscape.
Some of the courses may not be offered online because:
- Online maybe more expensive than using shared tools and equipment
- Lack of Social Interaction
One of the biggest disadvantages in studying online is the lack of social interaction. This is especially relevant for young undergraduates who should be making friends and having a great time. University is important for your career, but don’t forget that you will meet friends at uni that will last you a lifetime.
3. Entry level of learners requires close supervision