Millions of Youth Out of School
A 2016 report commissioned by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) found that "more than 263 million children and young people between the ages of six and 17 are not attending school worldwide."
While the majority of countries are capable of providing adequate primary education, many still struggle with improving the quality of the schooling they offer. What's more, many of these countries struggle to provide even adequate secondary education to their nation's children. The majority of these children missing out on education are concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, North Africa and Southeast Asia.
Access to Free Education
Perhaps everyone can agree that every child deserves access to quality education. At Alison, we believe that every child deserves access to free quality education. Alison is a social enterprise dedicated to providing education anyone can access anywhere, at any time, for free.
Alison courses are free to learn and complete, and learners can test their knowledge with a free assessment at the end of the course. If they pass the assessment with a mark of 80% higher, they are deemed certified. Alison Graduates have the option to purchase a Certificate or Diploma, should they wish to do so.
A student’s Learner Record details the courses they have taken and can be used to prove the skills they have gained.
Our financial viability is maintained solely through the purchase of optional certification and advertising. As such, we can deliver quality courses at zero cost.
The Cost of Education
UNESCO has calculated that "an additional $22 billion in funding is needed - every year - to meet basic education targets for 2030." The report went on to say that this finding clearly demonstrates "that there is an acute need for new financing models, particularly in developing countries."
At Alison, we know that global access to quality education doesn't need to cost $22 billion a year or $22 million a year or anything like these astronomical figures. Besides being a world leader in online learning and skills training, Alison is also the first free online learning platform that has developed and employed a sustainable and scalable self-funding model.
The Alison model can be scaled to meet regional educational needs, national education needs and global educational needs. Our model, in collaboration with governments in the developing world, would allow these nations to provide their young people with consistent, high quality and free education. It would also greatly decrease their dependency on foreign aid while also giving them independence in tailoring their curricula to their own unique cultural and societal needs.
Limited access and poor quality
A recent briefing on education by the World Economic Forum noted that the introduction of "clear, recognised global standards that benchmark measurable learning outcomes" was crucial to addressing these issues of limited access and poor quality in education worldwide. Alison is an international platform whose pedagogy is independent of any single national education system. The quality of our standardised courses and certification is attested to globally by our millions of learners who invest their time in our courses and whose individual success stories stand as testimony to our capacity to operate as a successful global educator.
The WEF briefing also notes that a quality basic education will "provide a broad foundation for future learning and re-skilling." As committed educators, we know this to be true. And as educational experts, we're aware of the broader implications of this statement. A quality foundational education at the primary and secondary level isn't just about meeting a child's right to education. Children who have been denied access to education can be permanently hindered in their capacity to learn new skills later in life.
Just as lack of access can have negative repercussions, access to consistent, quality early education provides individuals with the necessary foundations for a lifetime of learning. At Alison, we're ready to build these foundations around the world.