The coronavirus and the lockdown might be a time to stay home for safety reasons but it is also a time to pursue old hobbies and new learnings. As the world has been locked down for weeks now, various varsities, schools and institutions are offering free courses or courses for nominal charges on various subjects that have been considered expensive and most sought after. Most people staying indoors, instead of getting lost in the sea of scary news and social media posts, have turned attention to honing their skills through online resources either for knowledge or to boost their résumé.
Almost 70 courses are being offered free by Harvard University in the US and applications are being invited.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the university is offering 67 free online courses for those who want to expand their knowledge and master new skills during self-quarantine. The courses range in duration from a week to 15 weeks, with subjects that include programming, health and medicine, social sciences, computer science, art and design, business and humanities and many more.
Sheikh Mohammad Alam, a Bangladeshi businessman in Muscat, said, “This is a good time for me to learn about different subjects. Since my childhood I had a dream to have a degree from a world-renowned university like Oxford or Cambridge. I will be happy to take a course from Harvard online and I will go for business studies. These are four week courses and I have the leisure to study in my own time. I will not miss the opportunity.”
To equip people with knowledge on the pandemic, Oxford Home Study Centre is offering the ‘Coronavirus’ free online course that provides a detailed introduction to the virus responsible for the biggest global pandemic in more than a century.
Amira Asma, a housewife, said, “This exclusive online coronavirus course is suitable for anyone looking to improve their understanding of the COVID-19. From parents to carers to healthcare workers to the general public, knowledge holds the key to avoiding COVID-19 infection and preventing widespread transmission. No prior knowledge or experience is required. I learn various things like symptoms, differences between COVID-19 from the common cold or flu, and the when one should seek emergency help.”
Creative skills are also not left behind with photography, music and film-making courses offered free.
Throughout April, Nikon is offering free online photography courses in the form of 15 to 60-minute videos. ARRI has made available two of its Master Classes to watch online for free in five part series with world-renowned cinematographers.
The film department of New York University is also offering online script writing course from famous screenwriting professors for the public free of charge.
Mustafa Sultan, a freelance film-maker in Muscat said, “Now is the time to learn something new or finish a project, with so many courses available. I am happy to learn some new creative skills that will enhance my business when the lockdown is over. I have been very weak in writing and I will take the chance to learn more.”