Due to a surge in coronavirus cases, the government of Pakistan announced the closure of all educational institutions across the country last month. Following the orders, several universities decided to pursue the idea of online classes using tools like Microsoft teams, zoom, etc.
The Higher Education Commission (HEC) directed universities and accredited institutions with sufficient resources to start online classes. Universities with well-built learning management systems (LMS) were expected to initiate online classes to help students continuing their education.
However, after a while, it seems like a bad idea. Many students are now complaining about the quality of education during the online session. Lack of stable internet connection is also making e-learning difficult for young Pakistanis. Many students want better standards of online classes when they are still paying hefty amounts of fees.
#SuspendOnlineClasses becomes a top trend
Soon, #SuspendOnlineClasses started trending in Pakistan. Many of the students have even warned to boycott universities if the bad standard online classes are not suspended with immediate effect. According to students, the online classes their institutes are offering are nothing but a waste of time and money and they are not gaining anything from them.
After facing a lot of criticism online, the HEC has now started addressing students’ concerns. It will also inspect the quality of online classes the universities are offering and the delivery and connectivity for that matter.
HEC Chairman Tariq Banuri has said if a university is found to be lacking in capacity to deliver good quality online lectures, they will be directed to halt such lectures until the requisite conditions are met.
“HEC is monitoring the developing situation arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic. And is in contact with university leadership to identify areas where support would be needed to minimize academic disruption. Contingency plans have been drawn for various scenarios. If the current restrictions on movement are extended beyond May 31, all universities will have to resort to online education,” he added.
Moreover, universities facing technological, technical, or spatial limitations can remain closed for academic activities till May 31 this year and mark the period as summer vacation, HEC has clarified.
It seems like the HEC is pressurizing students to take online classes knowing that it’s not very effective in this Pakistani culture. Students delineate that they are having grave difficulty in understanding lectures. While some are actually not willing to gain from online courses. A few days back, we also came across a case in Karachi where students were seen trolling teachers during online classes.
Here’s how people are reacting towards online classes
Online education or distance learning is considered as a promising way to provide education to millions of people in the world. However, in Pakistani culture, it will take time to gain popularity and acceptance. In this scenario, online classes don’t seem to be possible or adequate. Most of the students are just suffering especially those living in far-flung areas and villages.
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