Distance Education as a Strategy towards Employee Skills Development: A Case Study of Kilimanjaro Region

Amembah A Lamu Amos
2019 International Journal of Innovative Research & Development  
Introduction Consistent changes in the working environment require that organizations should be apt and quick to find innovative solutions to issues that take place in their environment. But this will only be possible if both the organization and their employees have the urgency to make changes. Organizational environments are dynamic therefore there is a need in organizations that requires employees to be up-to-date with new knowledge, skills, abilities, competency, policies, systems, and
more » ... ss in order to operate effectively at work. Also, the high demands in most careers require employees to meet their goals according to specific time periods. Most organizations demand that these goals should be achieved both quantitatively and qualitatively. Hence employees have recognized the need for being up to date, competent and effective at work. Therefore, the aspect of constant learning and development has made most of the employees to pursue their further studies in different fields of their specialization in order to upgrade themselves. Open and distance learning is a field of education that focuses on teaching/learning methods and technology with the aim of fostering teaching and learning processes, often on an individual basis, to students who are not physically present in a traditional educational setting such as a classroom. It has been described as a process to create and provide free access to learning resources when the source of information and the learners are separated by time and distance, or both. The programme aims at bridging the time, geographical, economic, social and educational and communication distance between student and institution, student and academics, student and courseware and student and peers Among the more commonly used terms related to open and distance learning are the following: correspondence education, home study, independent study, external studies, continuing education, distance teaching, adult education, technology-based or mediated education, learner-centered education, open learning, open access, flexible learning, and distributed learning (MQA, 2011) Statement of the Problem Education is a vital element in the development of organizations, government institutions and the society in a country. The plan of the Tanzanian government is to educate its population in order to raise a generation that can be selfreliant in all aspects of life especially work. Similarly, organizations and the society also demand that their employees Abstract: Education is a vital element in the process of innovation and development of: organizations, governments and societies. The need for the employee to develop: skills, knowledge, experiences and competence necessitates that they become innovative towards learning. Distance education is a flexible strategy through which the employee could use to learn in order to meet the changing demands of the workplace. Research questions: what factors influence the uptake of distance education as an innovative learning strategy among employees? To what extent is distance education implemented to develop employees? What is the perception of employees towards distance education as an innovative strategy towards skills development? Research hypotheses: there is a significant difference in the mean perception of workers on the skills development of workers in distance education by gender. The study used a quantitative research approach and the design was correlational survey. The study covered two universities in Kilimanjaro. Data collection was done using: questionnaires and interview schedules. The findings were analysed through frequencies, percentages, means and T-test for the hypotheses. The study found out that: employees had equal opportunity to pursue their career development through distance education and distance education increases competency, improves employee skills and work experience. Also, most employees were involved in distance education however many employees did not receive support for their education from employers. Therefore, the study concluded that distance education has influence on employee development.
doi:10.24940/ijird/2019/v8/i11/nov19063 fatcat:gf7x7rtpmrdeveindlmc4iynpe