Founded by the Commonwealth Heads of Governments as an intergovernmental organisation, the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) is committed to promote the development and sharing of open learning and distance education knowledge, resources and technologies. Using its expertise and partnership network, COL will support government and educational institutions to build resilience.

Commonwealth of Learning

Burnaby, Canada
International or regional organization
Established : 1987
Education and COVID-19 Response

Support the equitable continuation of learning
During the COVID-19 pandemic
Strengthen learning systems
For the future
Supporting and empowering educators

COL has responded to the support government and educational institutions during the crisis through a range of interventions:
• Curating educational resources for teachers and students
• Released guidelines on distance education during COVID-19
• Launched a coalition called “Open Door” with over 50 partners engaged in delivery of learning and providing access to OER
• Developed video resources on “Teaching in a digital age” to support transition to online learning
• Created a collaborative platform on OER4COVID to support OER-enable learning
• Nurtured an international partnership of distance and online learning for COVID-19 to share best practices and free and open educational resources
• Launched several MOOCs for stakeholders ranging from teachers to small holder farmers that are impacted by lock down in a number of countries
• Continue to provide in-country support on request
• Collaborated with Coursera for Workforce Recovery Program to offer 10000 free licenses to needy individuals identified by Governments and coalition partners

Regional Focus


Member Video

During the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring that valuable time is not lost and learners at all levels continue to learn forms the foundation of the commitment and interventions of Commonwealth of Learning (COL).
Many countries are planning to offer online learning as an alternative. COL’s experience over 32 years shows that open, distance and online learning, if done well, can have t he same outcomes as campus education without requiring teachers and learners to be in the same place at the same time. However, we recognise that not all schools, colleges and universities are currently well-prepared to fully utilise these approaches, and COL stands ready to share its expertise and resources to enable stakeholders to keep the doors of learning open for all.
In this time of crisis, a suitable response requires a renewed commitment to sharing and re-using open educational resources (OER); exploring novel ways to enable interaction between learners and other learners, learners and teachers, learners and content using online platforms; and to use appropriate technologies so that no one is left behind . COL will provide technical guidance and support to ministries and institutions seeking support in this effort. For details see

Action areas

Learner Wellbeing

Learning opportunities

Digital Learning Content

Create or enable access to teacher training resources
Provision of books and printed learning materials

Capacity Development

Capacity development to support distance learning
Capacity development to support and provide training to teaching staff

Advocacy and Communication

Outreach to parents and communities on the right to education
Evaluate the effectiveness of distance learning strategies

Primary Contact

Mr. Sanjaya Mishra

Educaton Specialist, eLearning

Senior Contact

Ms. Asha Kanwar

President & CEO