The outburst of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has been stated a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) and the virus has now blowout to many countries and regions while a lot is still unknown about the virus that causes COVID-19, we do know that it is conveyed through direct contact with respiratory droplets of an infected person (generated through coughing and sneezing) Individuals can also be infected and sick from touching surfaces contaminated with the virus and touching their face (e.g., eyes, nose, mouth). While COVID-19 continues to spread it is very essential and crucial that communities take action to prevent further transmission, reduce the impacts of the outbreak and support control measures.
In this regard protection of children and educational facilities is particularly important. Although the coronavirus termination is challenging, students will perhaps learn more, on average, than students did during closures past. Today’s students have a couple of advantages over earlier generations. One is technology. Today teachers can communicate and collect lessons and assignments using email, websites, cloud storage, google drive and videoconferencing software like zoom app and skype. Students can form study groups using the same technologies such as Whatsapp and Facebook etc.
Pakistan continues to solve many of its problems with temporary solutions. While the government remains concerned about the overall state of education in the country, closure of schools during pandemic should have been taken as a test to manage with uncertain and undefined situations or natural calamities that may force to stop access to education. So, in this regard Pakistan’s Government must take many serious steps to fill this education gap which as occurred through COVID-19 pandemic through online technology to save our young generation for their better future especially for the poor children who do not access of internet even in this modern world and their parents are also facing different challenges in this pandemic and their can’t afford their expenses, because in this regard Pakistan is far more backward in the technology.
So, Pakistan must work to digitize its education system while also increasing its internet accessibility.
While Pakistan’s higher education may have been able to shift online, it still exposed the loopholes and gaps in the policy as many students remain unable to participate or to play a part in the online programs. Unfortunately, Pakistan lacks the culture of online full-time studying, and lack of accessibility further obstructs the progress of virtual education or we can say computer-generated education.
Moreover, in a country where access to internet is around 36.8%, transferring higher education online limits the number of students who can participate. In its yearly report, the Economist Intelligence Unit has placed Pakistan at 76th out of 100 countries in terms of availability, affordability and people’s ability to use the internet access.
Although schools and colleges have been asked to promote all students to the next grades and not to fail the students; this too is a temporary fix to a problem that is bound to disturb the entire academic calendar, yet the only decent compensation. The the policy of closing schools only provides a temporary solution to the forthcoming problems. Now for the better technology in the education Government should provide all the latest technological equipments to all the educational sectors especially in their own institutions because private sector are playing better role in the online education system.
In addition, to confirm that the internet is within the access of the masses, Pakistan must give incentives and encouragements to the telecommunication companies to improve their internet services and to cover maximum areas of the country especially in the rural areas.
Muhammad Danish B.S. First year (Department of International Relations) Federal Urdu University of Science, Arts & Technology