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Education Officials warn “Beware of online courses”

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Contact: Claudia Monlouis

Friday, February 14, 2003 - As Saint Lucians continue to become more knowledgeable in accessing information on the World Wide Web, there is now growing interest in enrolling in education programmes which are being offered by a number of colleges and universities world wide. This is already causing some concern to local education officials who are now urging persons to be cautious of certain courses offered online. Acting Registrar in the Ministry of Education Augusta Ifill, says that although many of the colleges and universities which offer distance education programmes, are in fact recognised, there is still need to thoroughly investigate the programmes being offered by these learning institutions.

“There are those though that you can say are money making organisations and they give you a washed down degree which are not recognised by the Ministry because sometimes you see people with no O’Levels, no qualifications. They do an online programme and in no time they have a Masters Degree. And you would appreciate that you have to look at the entire programme, the entire curriculum, what is offered by those examining bodies,” Ifill explained.

Ifill’s advice to students and other persons is to first consult with the Human Resource Development Unit of the Ministry of Education for guidance on which institutions are accredited and recognized both locally and internationally. She added that the best time to consult with the Ministry is before paying for those courses.

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