Academia Magazine


Online education facilities put in place by HEC and universities to minimize the effects of Coronavirus lockdowns have certainly drawn flak from students. But a contributor questions if it is alright to only blame HEC for the mismanagement that has come to the fore?

n these unprecedented times, it is not only our economy that is faltering, but the entire education process is also in shambles. All local and international examinations have been put on hold and uncertainty and confusion surrounds online classes arranged by higher education institutions (HEIs). Higher education has been, perhaps, the least discussed issue by successive governments and thus a comprehensive policy for it appears lacking. For many weeks in April, various hashtags trended on Twitter, like #WeRejectOnllineClasses #WeWantSemesterBreak and #HEC_StopOnlineClasses, which highlighted how effective the online education had been so far. Although it was a planned twitter campaign, issues students have been facing regarding online education are not absolutely wrong. Though it does beg a question: is only HEC solely responsible for enduring this reaction from university students? This pertinent issue needs to be examined from various angles for a better understanding. 

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.

The unprecedented pandemic the world is facing today has affected even the remotest of areas on this plant and the inhabitants therein. But besides the economic losses, the loss of learning for children is something that has become a major worry for all nations. Asad Ullah Khan tells us how the Punjab government has acted to curtail the effects of COVID-19 on education.

cientists, researchers and doctors around the world have teamed up and are working tirelessly to find a cure and minimize the devastating impact of COVID-19 outbreak. It is needless to say that the impact the pandemic will have globally cannot be overestimated; safe to say that the world order will be shaken, leaving it up to debate whether the globalization as we know it today will continue. It is a surprising thought, considering that the idea of a de-globalized world was an alien notion only a few months ago.

While many public universities have given up on educating students online to minimize the learning loss from lockdowns, Punjab University has embraced online education with open arms. Ammar Sheikh talked to PU VC Niaz Ahmed to find out how PU was braving the coronavirus storm and how the oldest university in Pakistan switched to modern-day teaching.