Requirement for online platforms for academic purpose is being felt highly these days due to closing of the educational institutions to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus.
Federal government spend billions of rupees for facilitating digitization to ensure the availability of computers and digital resources for students and researchers However, similar steps have not been taken on the provincial level as many public sector universities in Sindh have not been able to use online platforms to augment their academic programmes.
Sindh was the first province in Pakistan where the schools, colleges and universities were closed in the wake of the emerging COVID-19 cases in the country. The educational institutions were ordered shut for two days after the first Coronavirus case was revealed in the province last month. However, the holidays were then extended to 14 days and finally the Sindh government declared summer vacations until June 1.
This unexpected and sudden closing of educational institutions affected the annual examinations schedule, spring semester admissions, research projects and all the academic activities. The only way to keep the academic activities carry on in this situation is the use of online classes, which many parts of the world have adopted after the Coronavirus pandemic.
However, many public sector universities in Sindh seem to have no capacity to ensure distance learning for the completion of the current semester’s courses.
Currently approximately 15 out of 25 universities and degree awarding institutes are conducting online classes across the province.
The online classes and use of latest technology might not be as effective when compared to traditional teaching methods; however, the COVID-19 pandemic caused the academics and students to experience teaching and learning outside the traditional set-up.