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June 2, 2020

Career counselling; questions and answers

National

June 2, 2020

Q1: Dear sir, keeping in view the Corona lockdown- would it be possible to conduct online examination by the universities in Pakistan? Your guideline shall be highly appreciated. (Afshan, Karachi)

Ans: No doubt, it is a very tough and big challenge for the government. However, some institutions are already active and popular like Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU). AIOU has a very well-managed learning management system (LMS) and the other is Virtual University. There are some other institutions which already had some learning management system or infrastructure in place. But the problem right now is for those institutions which didn’t have any learning management or infrastructure in place for online education/examination. The government will have to develop an educational framework/ educational bundle for such institutions for conducting online examination. The government will have to develop a system for this, including infrastructure, content and method / guideline for conducting online examination and issues related to tele-density etc. Hence, there are many issues which government has to tackle and surely will need funding to develop such framework for conducting online examinations. I think work on this project should be started now as it is a very important issue.

Q2: Dear Mr Abidi. I wish to go abroad for study this September 2020 intake. But I’m very much upset and confused what to do in current Corona lockdown situation. I would appreciate if you can please advise. (Mian Khalil, Lahore)

Ans: International universities are responding Covid-19 very firmly and very encouraging. They are encouraging to apply. As this is a global pandemic and it’s situation is gradually changing. Right now whatever is the policy; they will go for the September 2020 intake. But right now it’s not sure this intake may go online keeping in view the situation for one semester as they have all infrastructure available for this in place if they will need to go for online education. They are all prepared for it.

Q3: Respected sir. I’m an A-levels student and was expected to appear for final examination this year. But I’m not sure what to do now and I heard we would be given results on predicted grades. Please guide me in this regard. (Manzoor Saleem, Islamabad)

Ans: For students who are looking towards UCAS and CIE results, please note that the CIE students will be given results on predicted grates and their process is going to be started in coming weeks. As usual you will be given results on 12th/ 13th August, 2020.

Meanwhile, the time has come that you should confirm your five choices of UCAS applications starting

from firm and insurance. Once the results are out the offer letters will follow immediately. The process for this is that your institutions are being given recommendations, a questionnaire is being sent in response to that your school counsellors, course tutors or teachers will be giving responses on the basis of which your evaluation will be done. So don’t worry. I hope this will clear your confusions.

Q4: Dear Abidi sb, I have two school-going kids and one daughter who is a college student. As you know due to Covid-19, schools and colleges are closed and examination process is disturbed. Please guide me. (Sher Ali Tiwana, Gujrat)

Ans: This is very important question. Surely due to abruptly stopped education process of students will result in education gap of students, especially for those who were ready to appear in examination and were issued cards for examinations. Fortunately, as the majority of students are being given move-over (promoted) on predicted performance. Now as both the parents are mostly at home with the children. Therefore, they should prepare their timetable for studies and indoor entertainment for their revision and to avoid any elapse in education. For those who have internet and computers/ laptops there are online learning facilities available. We are looking at Digital Pakistan, government. For those who are government school going children should keep watching their lectures on Taleem Ghar on given specific time TV/ syllabus on mobile apps and for private school children follow instructions of their respective schools instruction (for online platforms) and college/ university going children should use the platforms of Allama Iqbal Open University, Virtual University or their own institutions’ given online platforms.

(Syed Azhar Husnain Abidi is a renowned educationist in Pakistan, with more than 20 years of experience as provider of education counselling services. He has represented Pakistan in over 100 national and international seminars, conferences and fora. He is a recipient of the most coveted civil award Tamgha-e-Imtiaz).