Shaw Academy, an online learning platform, is the latest institution to make a selected number of its courses freely available during the country’s national lockdown.

The offer is available up until the end of the lockdown on 30th April, with the social distancing and stay-at-home instructions now offering people new opportunities to add new skills to their repertoire.

“With the country’s lockdown extended until the end of April, restricting over 57 million people to their homes, Shaw Academy is offering South African’s the opportunity to earn free qualifications across a range of topics including finance, photography, health and fitness, marketing, technology, design, beauty, music and business,” the institution explained in a press release shared with Hypertext.

The platform has proved popular with local learners and business people even prior to the COVID-19 outbreak and resulting lockdown, with more than one million South Africans graduating from online courses to date.

The popularity is only increasing too, with an estimated 435 000 having already graduated this year, Shaw Academy notes.

“With the coronavirus outbreak forcing more and more people to stay indoors, education providers like us are in a unique position to provide something that can benefit people during this difficult period,” adds founder and CEO, James Egan.

“Thanks to the availability of online services, the lockdown doesn’t have to be a barrier to people wanting to focus on self improvement during this time, and we firmly believe that education is the best way to fortify yourself ahead of the economic impact of the pandemic. That is why we are giving South African’s and people all over the world the opportunity to reskill and upskill themselves for free in these uncertain times,” he adds.

This offer comes following Shaw Academy’s recent expansion of its presence in the country, where it currently employs over 50 educators, along with student support managers and technical support staff, as well as a view to doubling this figure by the end of the year.

In terms of the most popular courses currently on offer, the company has seen a huge spike in interest in subjects across the board, with a particular focus on courses teaching leadership, digital marketing, sports nutrition, graphic design, and beauty.

Its Diploma in Social Media Marketing has proved the most popular, however, seeing an elevenfold increase in the number of students applying.

To find out more about Shaw Academy’s free lockdown courses, or any of the other qualifications it provides, head here.

[Image – Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash]