Although variety of international conventions proclaim that everyone has the right to education, in some countries this right is observed in part and in others - not observed at all.
Azerbaijan is among countries with limited access to education. For example, disabled people cannot utilize their right to education even in the capital city and face serious obstacles. First of all, they refer to lack of infrastructure in education institutions, in particular, wheelchair friendly environment. Most buildings were constructed long ago when accessibility problem was not adequately addressed. Unfortunately, nowadays rehabilitation and construction works do not always take into account accessibility problem for disabled people either.
Since 2004 distance learning program has been functional in the country. However, curriculum in secondary general education institutions does not provide knowledge at modern requirements level. Therefore, disabled people have to opt to alternative education to get necessary knowledge required in modern circumstances.
I decided to write about lack of education environment and available alternative options because it is important for me and might be useful for people with similar problems.
I was not able to go to school and get educated due to my disability as the place I lived in did not have necessary infrastructure. But nowadays there are new education forms and organizations that offer alternative education programs.
Over four years I participate in various projects implemented by British Council Azerbaijan. Recently, I have learned about EU-Eastern Partnership Culture and Creativity Program. I was encouraged with a chance to attend online courses and receive certificates while physically staying at home.
Courses on Culture and Creativity website
I chose a marketing course and carefully listened to the 15-minute lecture, passed the test and received the individual completion certificate. These online courses offer different advantages. First, the lecturers are international experts. Second, the site offers wide range of topics to choose: eight course in total.
After completing each course, you will receive the individual certificate via e-mail. And the bottom-line is an excellent chance to advance knowledge for people who cannot leave home for disability or some other reasons.
Online education advantages
Online courses are an alternative chance to learn something new in a situation when attending education institutions is difficult for the disabled people in my country. Furthermore, they have other advantages: chance to study in your own rhythm, listen to lecturers from all over the world, learn more about specialties that are not always taught in colleges and universities around.
As to the Culture and Creativity program courses, I would like to suggest they should have longer duration, cover more topics and include more advanced courses in addition to the existing ones. The most valuable is practical knowledge that helps promote career development and business projects.