On Tuesday, September 22, 2020, the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) and Coursera will host a virtual convocation for the first cohort of 3,000 learners who participated in the Workforce Recovery Initiative executed by the two partners in collaboration with governments across the Caribbean.

Guyana launched its partnership with COL and Coursera on September 4, 2020, to offer 4,000 free courses online from reputable universities to Guyanese who wish to learn something new and to enhance their skills and knowledge. Since that launch 32, 501 Guyanese have registered. The convocation ceremony will begin at 15:00h Atlantic Standard Time (AST) and 12:00h Pacific Daylight Time. The event will be streamed live.

During the convocation ceremony President of COL and CEO, Professor Asha Kanwar and Mr. Jeff Maggioncalda, CEO of Coursera, will be joined by Honourable Colin E. Jordon, Minister of Labour and Social Partnership Relations, Barbados, Honourable Priya Manickchand, Minister of Education, Guyana, and Honourable Emmalin Pierre, Minister of Education, Human Resource Development, Religious Affairs and Information, Grenada.

Professor Kanwar noted: “The COL-Coursera Workforce Recovery Initiative has offered the chance of a new beginning to tens of thousands across the Commonwealth. Given that these are nations with small populations, the uptake from the Caribbean region has been unprecedented. Ministers have been the driving force behind this initiative, taking full advantage of this chance to reskill their human resources.”

“It is critical that impacted workers in the Caribbean have a chance to learn job-relevant skills that open up new employment opportunities. We are honoured to partner with the Commonwealth of Learning to make that possible for many youth across the region,” said Mr Maggioncalda. “This is just the beginning of our long-term commitment to helping citizens prepare for a digital future.”

Honourable Colin Jordan stated: “The Commonwealth of Learning working with Coursera has provided an opportunity that aligns with my Government’s objective of ensuring that our people remain engaged during this pandemic period, and that they and the country can emerge better equipped to move forward.” Hon. Priya Manickchand said: “This partnership with COL and Coursera helps us to provide mass training opportunity to a large number of our people and contribute to our vision of preparing Guyana for the future with skilled human resources.”