Online classes and chaos

The lockdown, imposed throughout the country due to the coronavirus, is about to reach the one month mark. It has slowed down — for some, even stopped — the smooth flow of life, disturbing not only the daily routines of the public but also, exacerbating the already destitute state of life of the less fortunate among us. // Online classes and chaos . //Online education issues

Online classes and chaos — A failure of the education system in Pakistan?
Photo: Federal Minister of Education announced the closure of all education institutions on his twitter account. 

Among the various spheres of life having fallen victim to the repercussions of the highly deadly disease are the economy, global mobility, social life and the educational sector — all having suffered a great deal. With the educational institutions having been closed since mid March and an uncertainty looming over peoples’ heads about whether life will ever get back to normal, students and teachers are suffering alike. 

Despite the announcement regarding the shutdown of educational institutions until May 30th, there is no guarantee that conditions will be favourable enough to reopen the educational institutions. This gives rise to suspicion and doubt as no one is sure when life will really be back to normal. 

Education System of Pakistan

The system of education in Pakistan has remained a topic of debate, garnering concern over its structure, administration and various other spheres, including the public’s approach towards the acquisition of education and their views regarding its importance in an individual’s life. 

While there’s a number of people who do not deem education as something of prime importance, it is imperative to applaud the younger generations for advocating the importance of the most basic of necessities that every human must strive to obtain: Education. 

Online classes and chaos — A failure of the education system in Pakistan?

Currently, the education system of Pakistan is doing considerably better than it had been in the past. However, people in Pakistan, regard private schooling and elite class education to be a more reliable source of education than government institutions due to a healthier atmosphere, better quality of education and sufficiency of resources. 

//Online clases issues in Pakistan

Impact of coronavirus on Pakistan’s educational system 

Pakistan’s education system, which was already perched on precarious grounds — due to the lack of facilities, teachers, equipment and obsolete methodology — is facing increasingly tough times; courtesy of the covid-19 pandemic. 

Online education issues are the main concern right now for both students and teachers.

Online classes and chaos — A failure of the education system in Pakistan?

Teachers and students are suffering alike. The curriculum planning for this year seems to be heading down the drain. During such dire conditions, several colleges and universities have introduced online classes, which, in a developing country like Pakistan, are not easy to organise and maintain with the aim of reaping exemplary results. 

Online classes in Pakistan: A good approach or a poor initiative?

While many would think of this as a good approach — which it definitely is — the concept of taking online classes became victim to jokes and memes as soon as the proposition was put forward. Here’s one such meme:

Online classes and chaos — A failure of the education system in Pakistan?

… Our teachers’ inability to operate technology has become the main target of jokes:

Online classes and chaos — A failure of the education system in Pakistan?

Observing the chaos, and online education issues that has erupted since online classes began, I think it is safe to say that while it is definitely not a poor initiative, it is also not reaping much benefit. It lies somewhere in between. Just like everything else that has both, pros and cons, online education does too. 

Benefits of online education

Apart from all the jokes being regulated on social media, online education does have its pros that cannot be ignored: 

  1. Completion of courses/curriculum on time to avoid falling behind in studies. 
  1. Slight flexibility of timing. (Atleast we don’t have to wake up at 6 in the morning). 
  1. Cosy setting. (Way too homey with the siblings fighting in the background while your mom shouts at you for spending too much time on the computer). 
  1. Not having to worry about being properly dressed. (Pajamas it is). 

Challenges of online education

Ofcourse, no change comes without a bit of challenges and obstacles. While remote learning has proven to be quite beneficial to some; there are students who are against it. Condemning the practice, online education issue,s as they are brought face to face with various challenges in order to keep up with daily online lessons: 

  1. No access to computers

A great many students, who are already living hand to mouth, struggling to pay college tuition for a bright future, are now facing the problem of lack of resources. Many bright students may fall behind in school as they struggle with not having access to computers and laptops. 

  1. Teacher’s inability to operate technology

Lets face it, most of our grandmas and mums and dads cannot operate computers and technology to save their lives. Teachers and professors seem to be facing the same problem these days as most of them simply do not know what they’re doing. As a matter of fact, a large number of jokes on the internet are regarding this particular talent that our teachers lack and are depending on us to teach them about it instead. 

Online classes and chaos — A failure of the education system in Pakistan?

  1. No access to the internet

Just as some people do not have access to computers, the internet is also not available to some. The majority of areas do not have high-speed wifi as a result of which, they are unable to tune into classes being conducted online. // Online classes and chaos

  1. Student teacher interaction 

Transitioning to online classes means lack of one on one interaction among the tutors and students. Many students suffer from confidence issues while many are deficient in a particular subject. They usually learn better in intimate settings. Moreover, it is a proven fact that a teacher’s individual attention is a key factor for effective learning. 

  1. Atmosphere

While some students are enjoying being able to take classes from the comfort of their homes, a great many are struggling. Homes do not provide an adequate environment for the students to focus solely on their studies.

In institutional settings, everyone has one common point of focus and little distractions, and even if there are any, the teacher’s vigilance renders them, to a great extent, useless. At home though, there’s various distractions which might sidetrack students.  Online education issues

Online classes: failure of the education system in Pakistan? 

Online classes in pakistan is a major issue. No one can afford losing an academic year to the pandemic and as for the students struggling with their education due to absence of resources, it is the responsibility of the government to establish centers in rural areas, providing necessary resources while maintaining social distancing or fellow students should take the responsibility upon themselves to provide them with as much academic help they might need. 

// Online clases issues in Pakistan

Currently though, between all the chaos and confusion, we cannot afford to let our education system come to an abrupt stop. The Federal Minister of Education has taken notice of the increasing difficulties of students. In a tweet, he stated that these problems will soon be taken care of:

Online classes and chaos — A failure of the education system in Pakistan?

We cannot say that remote learning is a total failure of the education system because desperate times call for desperate measures, which is why online education, for the time being, needs to continue. 

But could online education become ubiquitous in Pakistan? Perhaps. We’re a long way from there but as they say, nothing is impossible. In a decade or so, we might be able to make this system of education work better, but for now, we have got to look out for one another to ensure we all make it to the next decade. 

// Online classes and chaos

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