COVID-19 & Educational Crisis

By: Amnah Shaukat

Are educational institutions in Pakistan well equipped to deliver online education to the students? Is internet reachable to everyone? Can each student afford smart phone or laptop? Is teaching staff competent to deliver lectures online? After the spread of COVID- 19 Higher Education Commission (HEC) directed closing of all universities and institutions in the country and asked them to commence classes online to avoid educational loss because of pandemic. But unfortunately students are facing alot of problem in this shift .And it’s troublesome for the students and teachers residing in remote areas. They don’t even have proper mobile phone signals how they can have access to internet. There are many families who only have one computer but 3 4 children’s having online class at the same time so it becomes really arduous for them to manage classes for all the children, many students cannot afford laptop, some don’t even have smart phones and even if they have don’t have knowledge to operate it or have internet facility in it. So it’s hard to disseminate online education to such group. Majority of teaching faculty is not aware of the online teaching procedure and its hard for them to manage. Even teachers don’t have access to all facilities mentioned above. In pandemic situation we all need to help government in improving the educational system. To sort these issues out easy and cheap internet packages should be introduced so that everyone can afford this facility and learning process can become easier. By providing teachers with some basic training of the online setup we can disseminate the education effectively .The government should make this training mandatory for all the teaching staff so that they are able to deal well with the situation .Effective digital system should be introduced at all level i.e. government and private with easy accessibility and effective monitoring of staff and students.