The unruly Covid-19 pandemic, like every other pandemic, unleashed a myriad of challenges and opportunities for countries across the globe. Albeit the advanced and developed nations are being taken at the throat by the pandemic, the underdeveloped and impoverished are jolted desperately.
Be it education, economy, market business, or health, all sectors have severely been paralyzed since the outbreak of the covid-19 pandemic. Education, however, is badly buckling under the pandemic.
It brought a transforming yet daunting wave of challenges in the education systems of the countries, particularly to the countries where the digital divide is already at its peak. Similarly, students belonging to the socio-economically backward category are suffering the disruption of education the most.
The pandemic compelled the countries to go for a complete lockdown, including halting the conventional face-to-face mode of learning.
In this scenario, a number of countries, having sound digital systems, went for virtual education in order to stop the spread of the virus and prevent a heavy-scale disruption in education. France, in the wake of the outbreak of the virus in the country, introduced an online portal in the name of “My class at home” to avoid disturbance in the education sector.
A sad situation in Pakistan
Sadly, Pakistan- a south Asian country- is among the countries where education amenities stand at their lowest ebb. A large chunk of 70million children is desperately away from schools.
Further, the pandemic is making the matter worse. During the initial stages of the pandemic, Pakistan took the initiative to impose a lockdown to shut down face-to-face classes by starting a virtual system.
The step pushed up the students from far-flung areas of Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to chant slogans against the online classes because of no access to wireless internet 3G/4G networks.
Keeping in concern the third wave of covid-19, the government again shut down education institutions across the country. It seems the government is still wide off the mark of the digitalization of education.
The digitalization of education
The concerned authorities in Pakistan must chalk out policy regarding digitalization of education by providing an atmosphere of E-learning to avoid unnecessary disruption in education.
Restoration of internet access in far-flung areas is a desperate need of the hour, because a large portion of the population lives in rural areas. The pandemic will remain for a reasonable period of time thus it is inevitable to reshape the whole education system in order to prevent further chaos in education.
Undeniably, virtual education is quite time-saving and contains advanced techniques for attaining various programs just by sitting at home. After all, the status quo of pandemic aggressively demands a transformation towards online learning.
Since periodic lockdowns in countries created unprecedented challenges, the digitalization of education is the only way forward for Pakistan. Moreover, countries like Pakistan must consider the importance of the issue to make efforts to equip the institutions with the facilities of E-learning and virtual education.
The “critical juncture” which the pandemic offers must be realized professionally in order to prepare the world for a post-pandemic era. Digitalization of education is one of the key opportunities which can bring a variety of positive changes in Pakistan’s education.
At last, revamping education from conventional to E-learning is the only possible option left to deal with the covid-19 pandemic.