Western Education is a far-fetched dream for the inhabitants of developing countries like Pakistan. Specially, the middle class hesitate to harbor such goals out of practicality. I believe impossibility or too-hard-to-do was the reasons behind the birth of theories like Creative Visualization. Sometimes, arrangements of huge funds required for the most expansive education and sometimes international tests like GRE and Toefl hinder the dream. Midlife is another hurdle, where one has to prioritize the education of one’s teenage or older children’s to his or her own education. So, all the funds flow towards the local or foreign education of kids. Google search discloses that the post graduate fellowships or fully funded programs are very competitive.
In the situation, one gets curious to know if there are any online free courses or education available. Here, comes the answer as a YES!
I went through the website coursera.com, where the leading universities of the world offer 300 college level courses in different disciplines. Recently, out of enthusiasm I joined two of them in Creative Nonfiction and found it a totally different experience from our local learning even at our good private universities. Unfortunately, in Pakistan, we don’t have any Creative Writing programs, though we expect to see such programs soon.
The students who are keen to get foreign education because of its quality, they must pursue the courses at coursera.org.
For each and every course, they have very clear course outlines. Through their text and weekly frequent emails, reading material, video lectures, Skype or video workshops, they teach and guide you through the course step by step until they make sure you have exploited all your potential. Finally, they base their grading on that.
Very smoothly they take you from the first drafts of their weekly assignments to your last drafts with the huge difference you may see on your quality of work. You submit your work on discussion forums, where you are exposed to the work of foreign students around the world, which gives you ideas on how to improve your work and in what areas? Here, you get peer reviews on your work and you give reviews on the work of other students, which develops your professional insight.
For each course, there is a Facebook page, where you may interact with the other students taking the same course and your queries are handled immediately by the Facebook page admin.
By the end of the day, you will discover your skills have moved from one level to another with the clarity of concepts according to international criterion.
The best thing is, these are Certificate awarding courses, provided you follow their instructions and perform good at your assignments and quizzes. Even if you are too busy to meet the deadlines, even then mere use of resources makes a huge difference in your concepts and resources. So, never miss out the life changing opportunity.
If you are a teacher, this experience and learning material is a huge help towards your further teaching. And, who knows one day you get an opportunity to full-fledged education!