Wednesday September 28, 2022

Inaccessible internet facility hinders digital learning process

November 30, 2020

Islamabad : Once again inaccessible internet facility has become a major impediment in the way of educating thousands of the students after closure of educational institutions during the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic.

The educational institutions in the capital city, soon after closure, have shifted to the online mode of teaching to enable the students complete their syllabus, saving them from academic loss.

However, not all the students are finding it easier to attend online classes due to their inability to afford buying electronic gadgets and pay internet charges etc.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed many inadequacies and imbalances of our education system with a challenge for a large number of students to participate in the digital learning process without reliable internet access and electronic gadgets”, Murtaza Noor, an education expert, said.

"Students from rich families will find their way during school, closure to take maximum benefit of alternative learning opportunities however the students in public schools and colleges belonging to the disadvantaged backgrounds will be deprived of this facility due to a lack of access to the digital equipment and internet facility", he said while talking to APP.

Consequently, the students from marginalized segments of society will remain unable to study during the period of closure of their schools, he said.

An educationist serving at one of the government-run colleges in the capital, Professor Tahir Mahmood said, “The closure of educational institutions due to coronavirus concerns have again turned a spotlight on the problems and challenges encountered by the students and teachers while interacting on the digital platform”.

“Neither the teachers nor the students have received any training regarding online teaching and learning processes in government schools and colleges.

Only Whatsapp is the source of their interaction which is not sufficient to fulfill academic requirements, he observed.

A lecturer, Ayesha Kiran said, “Access to the internet and computers is needed for online education along with the supportive environments but not every student has access to the internet and computer so challenges may rise in coming days and teaching-learning will suffer.”

Learning from the past digital learning practices during the first wave of COVID-19, the authorities should have been sorted out the viable solutions to address the educational needs of students,” she observed.

Shehla Naz, a mother of three children, said, “I have to manage the fee charges of my three children who are enrolled in a private school.