Kenya: E-Learning Gaining Ground in Kenyan Firms

Nairobi — Multinational and local firms seeking to develop their Kenyan employees' skill set are discovering e-learning as the next frontier in company training.

According to a new report developed by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), companies are finding the flexibility, sophistication, innovation and value for money of e-enabled learning as a major benefit.

ACCA Kenya Business Relationship Manager Joyce Njogu said drivers such as the increasing burden of regulation and compliance and the need for greater productivity and efficiency in the workplace have prompted several companies to incorporate e-learning.

"We saw a lot of main drivers like the "native generation" who are already using digital gadgets and we want to see how to embrace that and make learning part of it. Globalisation is challenging for multinational companies in Kenya that want to have the same standards as the rest of the world," she explained.

According to the latest CIPD International Learning and Talent Development Survey, the number of organisations that deliver at least 50 percent of their training time by e-learning is set to more than double over the course of 2012.

The same survey showed this trend having more momentum in emerging markets, like India where 52 percent of companies will have trainees spending at least 25 percent of their training time online.

However players in the local business sphere have often expressed skepticism in the credibility of online studies and are often dissatisfied with the crop of 'half-baked' university graduates entering the workforce from local campuses.

"We need to see how to incorporate theory in class and using e-learning to complement what is happening in the workplace," Uchumi Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Ciano said.

Kenya ICT Board Program Manager for BPO and ITES Andrew Lewela, echoed Ciano's sentiments, saying that involvement of the triple helix of private and public sectors and academia is necessary to make e-learning relevant.

For firms considering implementing e-learning, the ACCA report recommended investing sufficient time and resource on planning and design as well as incorporating learning technologies in a wider and more integrated approach to learning and assessment.

Video format learning, online learning hubs and portal interactive master classes are some of the learning technologies that are already in practice in global firms such as Standard Chartered Bank and Shell.

Companies that have implemented learning technologies identified four key success factors including employees working effectively with their line manager, offering the right support and guidance to learners, less overloading of compliance training and the ability to factor in regional preferences.

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