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For many low income countries around the world, including Tanzania, MOOCs are being hailed as digital salvation, bringing “elite” education to the masses.
"For many low income countries around the world, including Tanzania, MOOCs are being hailed as digital salvation, bringing “elite” education to the masses. Right now in Tanzania, a World Bank supported initiative is piloting in partnership with Coursera, a major online education company, to make MOOCs an ingrained part of their higher education efforts in the country by offering free courses at the university level. In conjunction with the Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH), they are supporting the development of SMART Knowledge Hubs starting in the capital, Dar es Salaam. These hubs are intended to assist in forming a support system for the development of education in IT, and a broader set of 'new economy skills' in the country. This young initiative in many ways encapsulates the growing discord about the viability and legitimacy of making MOOCs a key part of education development.
The 18-year-old activist and author of One Size Does Not Fit All: A Student’s Assessment of School,Nikhil Goyal, says a major issue with MOOCs are that they don’t address foundational issues in education. Echoing Lee and Tarimo’s comments he says MOOCs utilize “the same pedagogical approach to learning.” He later adds, “It’s not very much different in college where we have the 5,000 [people] lecture hall. It’s pretty much the same, and that is an issue for me. If you’re just making what’s already bad enough in colleges and school today, I’m not sure you’re really contributing.” "