Learning Crises in COVID-19 — Pakistan

School Closed due to COVID-19

In the current situation of COVID-19 one of the most important sector suffering is education. The COVID-19 outbreak has caused school closure all over the world. According to The World Bank 1.2 billion students are suffering from the current outbreak as they are out of their classrooms. UNICEF already stated that the world is already suffering with learning crisis and now the recent pandemic of COVID-19 is increasing these crises as the learning process is shifted to virtual learning. World Health Organization is dealing this issue by declaring some basic guidelines like staying at home and social distancing etc. In this regards school were closed by 160 countries to stop the spread of this deadly virus.

The recent claims of WHO has created a new chaos and dilemma for educational institutions as they said that COVID-19 is going for a longer run as expected till 2021 and so on. The vaccine of the virus might be available at the end of the current year as claimed by many medicine companies in the world. In all this schools are facing a great deal of uncertainty.

In the developed and some developing countries, they have shifted learning to virtual learning by using internet and educational technologies. Many countries like India, Pakistan etc. are suffering due affordability and lake of internet access to its masses. People who are hardly earn their bread cannot afford smartphone and other gadgets. In 21st century many schools are not equipped enough to accept tech-oriented teaching and learning practices due to lack of resources while some of them think technology as destruction in the learning process. Some schools are trying to shift traditional learning practices to online teaching and learning but they are lacking with technology trained teachers. Teachers are not familiar with online educational systems like learning management systems etc. On the other side learner is also not equipped with technology and internet access.

The term technology has a very bad impression on people in the under developed countries as it seems to be more about expenses and expensive technologies. The is not unique and strange because there is certain kind of monopoly in the market whom have created the perception that technological schools are only for the elite communities. School having facilities of online education are very expensive and unaffordable for a common citizen as schools are charging not less than 8000PKR per month in Pakistan. The amount mentioned might be the least count as many of the well-known schools are charging more than this. Some low fee schools in Pakistan are also adopting online teaching and learning but they do not have any proper mean or system do so. Many of them have started but due to lack of well-trained teachers’ quality of teaching and learning is compromised.

The solutions to all these problems are that different stack holder need to sit together for a healthy table talk to find out solution to this situation. Incorporating my own suggestion are as given. First thing government needs to do is to provide internet access to all the students community with low possible price. There is dire need of public private partnership. In this case both sectors will support each other with different interventions. Schools need to arrange training session for teachers and learners to equip them with technological skills. It will be very beneficial in the future if this pandemic stays for longer run and technological skills are never going to be wasted as it is dire need of the day.

Technologist | Trainer | Educational Consultant | Skills Promoter | Entrepreneur | Ed-tech Developer | Founder: www.isdswat.org | easingminds.com