The COVID-19 Pandemic has ruined every sector in Pakistan including the economic, tourism, and education sectors. March was a crucial time for students preparing for the upcoming matriculation and Cambridge examinations. But then Pakistan had to switch to virtual classes but it was not prepared.
Soon after the announcement of closing educational institutes, which started from the Sindh province, the murkiness began to develop over the most neglected sector of the country.
Since weeks now, social media has been flooded with anger as students criticize the Higher Education Commission (HEC) for not being able to facilitate students. Mainly because institutes have started online educational classes; whereas, students and even lecturers are not prepared or well adapted to this system.
Our education system is not tech-friendly
According to the Article 25 A of the 1973 constitution, “The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of five to sixteen years in such manner as may be determined by law.” Notwithstanding, the government has failed in providing basic education let alone educational facilities in these times of gloom.
Unfortunately, being an ex-colonized country, Pakistan is still driven by the colonial mindset, which has tremendously affected education in the country.
The curriculum is obsolete; the way of teaching is archaic and the way of studying is unproductive.
The prime changed occurred in the era of President Ayub Khan, including nationalistic chapters in the curriculum. Thereafter, the deteriorated saga of democracy including rapid fall and rise of the governments along with nationalism and privatization policies hampered the sector’s growth. The division of education in government, private and madrassah education also hindered the way of digitized education in the country.
COVID-19 crisis showcased system’s defects
After the closing of educational institutes, students have protested heavily on all social media platforms regarding the education setup of the country. The abrupt shift in teaching medium has caused immense problems for the pupils across the country, particularly in remote areas.
More than 40000 are saying shame one hec just because of their futures. You just hearing universities point of views not students point of vews about inline classes. We want smstr break as a summer vacation but uni want to save his electricity and other bills?.#ShameOnHEC pic.twitter.com/CKDl5UMKIn
— Kamran Mughal (@KamranM01154049) April 7, 2020
The problem here is students are not well adapted to the online education system. Our universities driven by the HEC are far-behind in digitized and reformed educational setup. The commission had initiated online classes on the Adhoc basis, which led to the perplexing of pupils around Pakistan.
Furthermore, the country where lower-middle-class supersedes those who can afford the internet, it is hard for many students to attend online classes.
What HEC should do now?
The HEC shall suspend all online classes. They must first develop the websites and online classrooms of the university portal. Secondly, it needs to initiate online workshops and question-answer sessions with the students. They need to make students understand about online education. Moreover, HEC needs to take all the considerations of students in action before beginning another round of online sessions. Besides, the HEC must develop a mechanism for those who cannot afford inter on online education 24/7.
Loopholes had started appearing in the education system when the universities started online classes in the wake of the closure of all educational institutes. The idea was to minimize the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country. But it is high time that the HEC must do something in this regard before it’s too late.
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