The COVID-19 crisis has tested all aspects of our lives like never before and like most things, the education sector in Pakistan has been hit and exposed badly. But if we have known one thing about education in Pakistan from the crisis, it’s that the state of affairs really, really calls for concern and concrete action. We discuss what we ought to be doing to make post-pandemic education a worthwhile effort once the disease is behind us.

ducation these days – like most aspects of human life on the planet – is undergoing a period of critical transition. The traditional classroom has been replaced with a virtual one, school uniform has been out fashioned for comfy PJs, and writing assignments no more require pen and paper. This unexpected change in everyday life has come within four months of the virus first being reported in China and never did we think living would come to this.For the first time in recent history that we are experiencing a lockdown of global proportions and perhaps it is the first time that the flow of education has been disrupted to this extent. The UNICEF estimates that close to 1.5 billion schoolchildren around the world face loss of learning as schools in over 191 countries have been ordered shut to prevent the spread of Covid-19. The long term impact of the virus-driven lockdown is yet to be fully understood, however, one thing is clear, that it is high time we rethink what education truly entails.

By Hassan Ali

We’ve been terrified by Stephen Hawking telling us our handy computer would one day overthrow us; we’ve heard Elon Musk predict the ‘end of humanity’ by its own creation, and only recently, Saudi Arabia has gone on and done something unprecedented, granting an ‘honorary’ citizenship to a robot named ‘Sophia’.

Not that long ago, small rectangular blackboards called slates were used in most American, British and Australian classrooms. Balanced on the knees of students, it was a great way to teach young students to write as they were mobile, light weight, and could be used over and over. Modern education is now moving from blackboards to interactive whiteboards, textbooks to educational apps and archaic slates to tablets or laptops.