–Students demand that internet connectivity, facilities be made better for proper learning, equal opportunity
ISLAMABAD: Since universities have announced to continue educational activities online amid the pandemic, a large number of students took to social media for expressing their displeasure over the lack of access to internet facilities in remote areas and low quality education offered in contrast to the heavy fee being charged, ultimately affecting their grades.
“The online classes system is not effective in our country. We request the government to provide better internet or a semester break as students from remote areas are unable to properly access the internet,” a tweet of a student from International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI) said.
“Online lectures, quizzes and assignments are going effective and will affect our grades. We have paid a heavy fee for quality and good education. The situation is not fruitful for opening educational institutions but out grades and understanding of lectures is also important”, another tweet said under the trending hashtag of the day ‘we want semester break’.
It has been observed that students in remote areas lack internet facility and are forced to travel to places with the facility to attend online lectures which is not safe in the present scenario.
It may be noted here that the quality of online education, that is being experimented for the first time in history, is not up to the mark as teachers were not fully equipped with the required teaching material and prepared on how to teach online.
“I am a student of University of Management and Technology (UMT) from Chitral where I don’t have a mobile network. I have to travel for a long to take online classes which is a difficult task”, Emad Baig said in a tweet.
“Online classes are nothing but another source to waste our time. Universities are just concerned with fees, they are just completing credit hours but really don’t care about our grades,” another student said tweeted.
”You are giving us average education and expect us to become “Iqbal key shaheen”. The government has announced to close all educational institutions after which you are sending us fee vouchers,” Umair Pasha tweeted.
“The main hope of a nation lies in the proper education of its youth. Not everyone is blessed with gadgets and technology. Think about those who can’t afford it. Stop online classes. Who will be responsible for the GPA of students failing due to poor internet?, Hafsa Waseem tweeted.
Talking to APP, Inter University Consortium for Promotion of Social Sciences Pakistan (IUCPSS) National Coordinator Murtaza Noor said that universities are also facing problems due to complete lockdowns in most of cities and even the concerned support staff is unable to reach the universities.
“It is for the first time experience of large scale alternative teaching for the students, faculty and university administration. I think, in view of the issues, a uniform policy should be adopted based on the experiences by universities, faculty and students,” he observed.
When contacted, Higher Education Commission (HEC) Chairman Dr Tariq Banuri responded, “We are exploring solutions that will allow their semester to be saved”.