LAHORE: 11 November, 2020 – PSDF, the largest skills development fund in Pakistan (funded by FCDO and the Government of Punjab), has partnered with Coursera, one of the world’s leading online learning platforms, to offer globally recognized courses, free of cost for our youth. The partnership was announced during Coursera CEO’s Global Keynote at the Coursera virtual conference.

While online learning is a relatively new phenomenon in Pakistan, amidst the current COVID-19 pandemic, interest and necessity have jointly dictated the shift to online learning particularly for school, colleges and universities. Internet penetration, growing cellular subscribers have facilitated the uptake of online learning, providing access to the world’s best education, and promoting inclusion in learning.

PSDF’s partnership with Coursera taps into this potential, offering a wide variety of courses in market relevant fields, and are particularly geared towards enhancing career advancement, increasing income avenues, and promoting self-employment.

The courses currently offered through PSDF, are 4-months long, and are in the fields of Digital Marketing (for learning SEO, Social Media Marketing and Marketing Analytics), IT (ranging from APP development to coding languages of JAVA & PYTHON), to Finance (Financial Accounting Fundamentals). Through PSDF, these courses will be offered free of cost to the youth that need them the most, with PSDF further incentivizing upskilling with a stipend of PKR 6,000 to be received upon completion of the course.

Every course on Coursera is taught by top instructors from 190 world-class universities and organizations (University of Virginia, UCDavis, Google, IBM etc.) with over 40+ Million learners till date. Learners can take advantage of learning at their own pace through on-demand video lectures, homework exercises, and community discussion forums. After completion of their respective courses, 85% Coursera learners reported gaining more confidence at work, and 87% reported improved team performance.

Speaking on occasion of the launch of the partnership, CEO PSDF, Mr. Jawad Khan expressed the importance of online learning for youth to gain marketable skills for the 21st century: “As we navigate our way out of the global Coronavirus pandemic, digital preparedness and online learning have become the need of the hour. PSDF has once again been ahead of the curve, bringing Coursera to Pakistan, on such a large scale, bringing world class learning opportunities to the homes of millions of Pakistani students and workers. We’re looking forward to taking this partnership ahead, to create real and tangible impact for our youth”.

Encouraging youth to take full advantage of the opportunity, Jeff Maggioncalda, CEO at Coursera said: “We’re really excited to be partnering with PSDF, the largest skills development fund in Pakistan, to empower the young men and women in Pakistan to develop their potential with online learning. The COVID-19 pandemic has harmed economies and livelihoods, but even as we work and learn from home, online learning has become more accessible and powerful than ever. Our partnership with PSDF provides the opportunity for everyone to access free training to upskill and give themselves an edge in the local and global labour markets.”

The PSDF and Coursera partnership has thus officially been launched and will be available for free for poor and vulnerable youth in the country. The courses are accessible through Seats are limited, so applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible to kickstart their career, upgrade their skills and discover new income avenues.