Sachet education – buy less, more often


To pay for the tuition of my current online degree program , a teacher in Kenya has to work for five full years, not spending money elsewhere at all. 

I am starting my series of MOOC vs. Online Degree program blog with learner cost analysis. To put things in perspective, I created my own index- how many years a teacher needs to work for to pay for continuous learning in educational technology. The teacher can be in London, California, Shanghai, Delhi and Kenya. The options for this continuous learning are (1) an online degree program (2) a campus full time degree program (3) a selection of relevant MOOC courses.

First, I was searching for a ballpark figure of annual salary of a school teacher (US$) in these places. A teacher in California has the highest annual income (US$54,552), London (US$42,402), Shanghai (US$6,000), Delhi (US$3,600). A teacher in Kenya earns the lowest absolute dollar value of salary (US$2,257) .

If the teacher wants to continue a journey in educational technology, the existing choices are limited but widening at least. Stanford’s Learning, Design and Technology campus degree program costs US$31,000 tuition alone (approximately US$2,000 per course). My purely online degree program of educational technology charges tuition for over US$11,000 (10 courses, US$1,000 per course). A Coursera (MOOC platform) specialisation track for 9 courses in teaching costs US$428 (9 courses, US$48 per course). (Note, it is not exactly educational technology, but I would expect sooner or later, this will improve)

In summary:

  • A campus program by a prestige university, US$2,000 per course, bundled offering.
  • A purely online program by a reputable university, US1,000 per course, bundled offering.
  • A MOOC specialisation track, US$48 per course, unbundled.

The situation is not bad for a teacher in a developed economy but quite unattainable for a teacher in developing countries. 

Going to Stanford will cost a teacher in California 7 months of his/her salary, a teacher in London 9 months salary. The same education costs a teacher in Shanghai over 5 years’ salary, almost 9 years for a teacher in Delhi. This is the worst for a teacher in Kenya, tuition alone eats almost 14 years of his/her salary.

How about doing this via an online degree program? The tuition will still cost a Kenya teacher 5 years of salary, (close to) 2 years’ salary for a Shanghai teacher and 3 years for someone in Delhi.

The next option can be Coursera’s specialisation track – Foundations of Teaching for Learning.This 9 course collection is provided by Common Wealth Education Trust. I have to say it is not exactly educational technology. But I am hoping that sooner or later something more relevant will be there. A teacher in Kenya will only need to put 2 months of his/her salary to pay for that whole program. He/she would also be able to pay an unbundled price, a US$48 unit price per course. That US$48 per course rate, is a quarter of his monthly salary. 

Sachet marketing shampoo

Sachet marketing is a concept that consumers buy less but more often. For example, instead of buying a shampoo bottle, consumers go to grandpa grocery shop and get shampoo in small package size. They are also more convenient to carry and transport, more flexible. The concept is proved a huge success in developing markets such as India.

Would we, one day, have a sachet education?



One thought on “Sachet education – buy less, more often

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