MQA disallows 8 online courses, including medicine and teaching

Maldives National University (MNU). (Sun Photo/Ibrahim Ifaz)

Maldives Qualification Authority (MQA) has established that eight courses cannot be conducted online, including medicine and teaching courses.

MQA had published its revised guideline for higher education on Wednesday, which declared the courses that can and cannot be conducted online.

The courses that cannot be conducted online include medicine, dentistry, health sciences, nursing, Quran, technical and vocational education, engineering, architecture, and teaching courses.

MQA’s CEO Dr. Abdul Hannan Waheed told Sun on Monday morning that the courses that cannot be conducted online were determined following discussion with relevant institutions.

He said the MQA believes conducting the courses online could affect the quality of education.

“Some courses aren’t easy to conduct online. For instance, courses that have a practical component cannot be conducted online. That’s the global norm,” he said.

Hannan said the decision to disallow online teaching courses – which attracts hundreds of students – was made following discussion with the Teacher’s Registration Board – established under Higher Education Act.

And the decision to disallow online Quran courses were made following discussion with the National Center for Holy Quran.

Hannan said such institutions have the authority to decide whether the courses can be conducted online.

Hannan said MQA was established improve the quality of higher education of Maldives, and would do the work necessary to fulfil its mandate.

Higher education institutions are required to follow the new guideline, which took effect following its publication on the Government Gazette on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, higher education centers which received prior permission to conduct courses online have 18 months to retailor the programs in compliance with the new guideline.

Failure to follow the new guideline is punishable with a written notice for the first violation, and a fine of MVR 10,000 for repeat violation.

The third violation will be punishable with revocation of permit for the course.