Role of HEC in tailoring online classes seems topsy-turvy

There is no trace of doubt that COVID-19 pandemic outbreak has left the world massive shock where all affected countries are suffering badly. The severity of pandemic and death toll vary from country to country but the widespread momentum of this lethal pandemic is still floating at peak. Apart from it, every affected country has exposed its unbridled passion to defeat it.
It is not a hidden reality that COVID-19 pandemic has absolutely shattered the global economic statistics: zero-trade movement, suspension of all flights for imports and exports except medical relief, delaying the engagement of national and international political leadership at multiple forums and all social activities worldwide. In spite of this sad development, this pandemic is also responsible in ruthlessly affecting the education system of the world.
All reputable academic institutions and the best universities of the world have not merely been shutdown, but also confronting this dilemma that how can get rid of and resume learning process. After getting stumbled, an incredible amount of performances to resume education system was executed by extremely affected countries: US, Spain, Germany, UK, France, China and Italy that sacrificed maximum death ratio comparatively to rest of the countries. These states have successfully introduced a productive method of online classes. It has been widely appreciated and considered the effective mechanism and replaced traditional trend of physical classes due to outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.
The dominant purpose of this valuable development is to only facilitate students of all grades to continue their academic responsibilities and retake the domain of learning at home while keeping World Health Organization recommended standard protocols of safety against deadliest COVID-19 pandemic. This online learning completely relies on fast internet connection system which is being ensured by said countries.
According to senior professor of South Korea his country has recently introduced 5G the fastest internet connection system and leaving no room for excuses to its students while accomplishing their academic assignments timely. This zero-compromised attitude of these countries on education system explicitly demonstrates the scales of its sincerity that deserve a huge applaud. As for as Pakistan case is concerned that due to outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic all educational institutions have been shutdown. This pandemic has not solely struck all socio-economic and political activities of the country, but also badly hit our feeble education system which was already knuckling under mature phase.
In this regard, the effective role of Higher Education Commission is crying need in putting its heart and soul to save education system promptly and efficiently. It considers widely that Higher Education Commission is a reputable and functional institution of Pakistan that leads all academic activities: comprehensively updating literature of all levels, extending multiple scholarships to students for taking admission to national and international universities and more importantly executing its paramount part in assessment, scrutinizing and recommendations to select voice Chancellors of various universities of Pakistan.
It is a great moment of disappointment that Higher Education Commission is still failed in developing a comprehensive mechanism for online classes. One of the considerable objectives of this writing is to make conscious to Higher Education Commission towards provincial and federal universities where a fair chunk of our youth is enrolled at different levels. Initially, honorable Chairman of Higher Education Commission appeared with tremendous confidence to launch online classes and cannot make any compromise on education amidst COVID-19 pandemic.
Later, the Chairman’ assertions are still not responded through timely implementation. The reason behind postponed online classes was given by placing highly viral top trend slogan on social media “suspension of online classes”. This displaced coin (slogan) has two interventions and both needs to be understood transparently.
Firstly, there are many students reside in remote areas; bearing problem of stable enough connection for live-streaming and this sort of legitimate grievance must be addressed timely. Secondly, the significant ratio of students often delivers their reckless attitude towards studies. Moreover, it has also been observed that these sorts of students in various universities are often display their academic performances and accomplish all given assignments under the ambit of fear of failure. Resultantly, a favour can be extended here to a strong assumption that this significant chunk of students left no stone unturned in promoting a viral trend on social media “suspension of online classes”.
It is high time that Higher Education Commission needs to come up with dogged perseverance to launch a comprehensive “National Education Strategy” for online learning to facilitate students of all levels and more importantly those who are enrolled in various universities of Pakistan. In addition, three strategies can be considered in tailoring environment of online teaching.
Firstly, the Higher Education Commission’ greater coordination with education ministers of federal and provinces governments for supporting in ensuring policy of online learning in true spirit while keeping strict assessment on universities. Secondly, it needs to extend responsibilities to provincial and federal universities to put its tremendous role in making successful online classes. Moreover, the voice Chancellors of various universities can easily make a wakeup call to professors of various subjects to develop course content for online classes. Simultaneously, it is also a testing time for professors to flex their muscles to appear with fruitful strategies not merely for delivering lectures, but also handover assignments and timely assessment.
Faisal Bari, a senior research fellow at the Institute of Development and Economic Alternatives and an associate professor of economics at LUMS has rightly shared his recent online teaching experience. According to him good internet connectivity, the effective dual role of teachers in delivering live lectures and send recorded videos and audios lectures to students will be a gigantic academic services that can lead a successful online learning. This strategy will be helpful in addressing academic hiccups of students and simultaneously intensify the quality of education.
Thirdly, aforementioned bunch of analysis can never be possible to be happened unless fast internet connection system, its expensive internet packages and more importantly provision of its access to the students of remote areas. In this regard, Higher Education Commission needs to be forged ahead with its fruitful planning with ministry of Information Technology and Pakistan television Network to take help to facilitate academia in worst crisis of COVID-19 pandemic.
The rapid, decisive and collective action of these institutions can make online learning successfully. Moreover, the web of strong predictions has been shared by world scientists and medical experts that the eradication of COVID-19 pandemic in near future is totally uncertain. Hopefully, the Higher Education Commission will make great strides and meet the desired expectations of students to carefully protect their precious semester timely, promptly and effectively through online classes.

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