Written By: Mirza Irfan Baig
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, there is a need for reliable e-learning platform in Pakistan. Here’s how Pakistan is adopting e-learning to cope in the lockdown.
The COVID-19 pandemic has taken over the globe and the whole world is currently reeling from its disastrous effects. Pakistan is no exception to this crisis, as cases continue to skyrocket day by day. With currently no cure in sight, countries have been forced to adopt strict social distancing rules in order to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.
This has led to the adoption to what is now being referred to as the “new normal”. Businesses have been ordered to shut their offices and switch to a work from home system, restaurants and cafes are only taking delivery orders, and car services such as Careem are offering grocery pick-up and delivery services.
At the same time, schools and all other educational institutes have been ordered to remain shut until at least July 15th. Many predict that the lockdown will remain imposed on schools in the next term as well. This has led to the urgent need for reliable e-learning platforms to continue the school term.
What is e-learning?
E-learning refers to the transfer of educational curriculum via an electronic medium, This usually uses a secure internet connection and electronic device such as a laptop, tablet, or mobile phone.
In its essence, e-learning provides a convenient learning experience whereby students are able to receive lectures, notes, past papers, and study materials from the comfort of their home. However, in the face of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, this “convenient learning experience” has become a “necessary learning experience”.
E-learning provides a safe and secure way for students to receive quality education and smooth communication, whilst maintaining social distancing orders. They do not have to risk entering a classroom and being exposed to the virus. Hence, reliable online learning mediums have become the need of the hour.
Most schools, universities, and educational institutes have adopted the US-founded video conferencing software, Zoom, as their primary medium for live online lectures. This cloud-based software allows teachers to create a “session”, or class, and invite their students to join. Students are able to join the link to enter the virtual classroom. Here, teachers are able to deliver their usual lectures, and use the “screen sharing” option to display lecture notes and slides.
Since the onset of the government-imposed lockdown to limit the spread of COVID-19, Zoom has experienced a massive boom in sales. This is because it is providing an effective means of online lectures to schools all around the world, including in Pakistan.
Online Study Tools
As for study materials such as book notes, solved past papers, and MCQs, the top option among schools in Pakistan has become tutoria.pk. As Pakistan’s first comprehensive online exam preparation platform, it seems to have launched at just the right time. It provides high-quality online study materials, catered specially to matric and intermediate students of all educational boards.
Teachers are able to use tutoria.pk’s book notes to aid their lectures. Moreover, with no other way to provide students with paper-based assignments, teachers are easily able to assign the solved past papers or practice MCQs as an assignment.
On the other hand, students can use the solved past papers and MCQs to prepare for their exams in place of the physical tuition centers and academies. With no knowing of how long the COVID-19 pandemic will last, and how future board examinations will be conducted, this is an ideal way to keep up with exam preparation.
The future of e-learning in Pakistan
Therefore, it is clear to see that e-learning platforms have done a superb job of helping schools and educational institutions in Pakistan to smoothly transition to a learn from home system. However, there is still a learning curve to overcome, as the concept of e-learning is a relatively new concept for many students and teachers in the country.
Uncertainty is the key problem during this COVID-19 pandemic. As the government is unsure of how long the closure will last, we can only hope that schools will continue to improve their e-learning experience and adopt additional online learning solutions to fill the gaps that they are currently facing. This is the best way to ensure that students can continue their quality education in the face of this pandemic.
The above article is written and submitted to Askedon by Mirza Irfan Baig who works at Tutoria.PK. He is communication manager at the aforementioned platform.