Russians gain access to e-learning

Russian
employees and the country’s unemployed are to be given access to online
learning following a deal between learning technology provider Click2learn and
the Russian system integration specialists CSS.

The
two companies will work with staff employed by global corporations based in
Russia and government agencies in the county to provide training for those out
of work.

Ruben
Agababyan, general manager at CSS, said, “The Russian market for e-learning is
huge and virtually untapped. During 70 years of communism, Western business
strategies and practices, which are now widely accepted, did not apply to the
Soviet way of doing business.

“We
have now entered a new era in which we can take advantage of cutting edge
technologies that have evolved in Western Europe and the US. With Click2learn
on board, we have been able to leapfrog previous training technologies to
provide Russian-based companies with a sophisticated and market-leading
e-learning solution.”

While
senior management in the multinational companies speak English and have been
able to use e-learning courses developed in the West, the vast proportion of
Russian employees do not speak English and have not had access to e-learning.

CSS
has localised content and translated courses to widen access. Agababyan said
that, in addition, CSS intended to be a full solution provider offering
installation, consultancy and development services.

Stephen
Bennett, Click2learn’s vice-president for Europe, said, “The reason we have
extended to Russia is because, as a nation, it is incredibly hungry to learn.

“Since
the fall of communism much of the education and further education
infrastructure has crumbled and people are desperate to get their hands on
anything that can improve their capability to find employment.

“Russia
is such a huge country that technology can play a very important role. Virtual
classrooms, e-learning, the whole blended learning experience is the most cost
effective way of providing that education.”

By
Lisa Bratby

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