Where Education stands in Pakistan during Covid-19

By Muhammad Hussain

Nelson Mendel said education is a powerful weapon that can change the whole world. education has immense importance. Firstly, we try to know the importance of education from the Holy Quran. Allah says in the first revelation of the Quran. Read, read in the name of the your Lord, who created man from a blood clot. Read in the name of the Lord who taught by the pen. He taught man what he did not know. Similarly, the Holy Prophet said the acquisition of knowledge is binding on all Muslims.

Moreover, those countries which give more importance to the education sector they soon fall in the line of advanced countries and make a distinct place for themselves. As Allah says, In Holy Quran: “Are those who know equal to those who do must have?”(39.9).

We do not deny impinge of the Covid-19. It halted all sectors, especially the education system which is more affected in developing countries. However, many countries do not close the education system because they know only education is the tool that takes us out of this evil. They shifted the whole education system to online platforms. Every country tries to provide every basic facility of online education to its citizen.

Govt. of Japan has taken a positive step to combat the financial and educational crises of the student impacted by covid-19. They have provide scholarships and loans. According to a report, Japan’s Govt. announced a partnership with MEXT under GIGA to support schools installing high-speed internet and provide students heed with laptops, the tab for accessing the web on the other hand,  Pakistan doesn’t pay heed to this sector. She always keeps it the lowest at priority. Therefore, students are on roads in Pakistan. The incumbent government decreased the budget of education and slashed a cut on the scholarship of students. Also, it has terminated the reserved quota of KPK and Balochistan students in Punjab and Sindh province which is a shameful act of the Government. Now we shed some light on our education activities during Covid-19 how government runs this sector.

The government of Pakistan closed the education institutions to stop spreading the coronavirus while other things remain open. The government of Pakistan wasted the previous year of the students and the Government promotes students without any exam. Now, once again Government has closed the education institutions and all other things remain open. Government strikes, its election campaign, and other social and political activities are continued as routine. They know that is the thing that reaches the power chair that is why they keep the aforementioned things a top priority. On the other side students and teachers are happy to close the institution because in the online education system there is no check and balance on students and most importantly they pass the exam without any effort. As Che Guevara said when the institution’s door are closed I see happy ignorant people. This is a bad thing for our nation and they don’t know the importance of education. Similarly, teachers are happy as well they don’t take interest in delivering lectures. They just come few minutes in an online class for giving tasks to students. They don’t check the assignment nor give feedback on the students’ assignments. They become lazy and this I have experienced in my online classes, one of our teachers doesn’t take the assignment nor presentation and even he did not check the paper and gave marks to the students by personal relationship. This bias engineers bad relationships between students and teachers that is why students don’t respect the teachers. These biases remove the essence of the relationship between students and teachers. The government deems they shifted the education system online which mitigates the education crisis. We appreciate this step of government but the online education system produces a huge gap between have and have-nots. Also, it exacerbated the disintegration among the provinces. Many areas of Pakistan have no access to the internet and electricity.

These areas are already facing immense problems and the online education system adds fuel to the fire in this situation. Moreover, online education produces a cheating environment that is more dangerous than the Coronavirus. We will survive the coronavirus but we cannot survive the disaster caused by cheating. As a famous saying goes If you want to destroy a nation then inject cheating culture in the exam. It kills people by their hands. Fake doctors kill their patients with their hands. Similarly, bureaucracy will fail owing incompetent officers. The same situation we are seeing in Pakistan. There are no incompetent officers, politicians, scientists, and doctors. After

Lapse of 72 years Pakistan doesn’t come in the line with developed countries on the other side China got independence after 3 years of Independence from Pakistan but nowadays she is a superpower and second economic power.

Online education increases the dropout Pakistan already facing an illiteracy rate crisis. According to one report, 930,000 students are expected to drop out of school because they afford the expenses of internet packages and other related items for online classes such as mobile, laptop, and tabs.

The government should adopt the Japanese model of education during Covid-19. If it does not adopt that type of education then open the education system with strict SOPs is a good idea but closure of institutions is no option. Therefore, all the aforementioned crisis will mitigate if government follow these measures. Otherwise, it will exacerbate the crises in education system as well as the social and political system of Pakistan.

In short, online education is not fruitful in Pakistan. Education is the sin quo none and the survival of any nation. It is only education which makes our health good and makes us able to combat this type of disease and other critical situation.

Therefore the government of Pakistan should review the education policy of closing the education institutions. Now if we improve education our doctors and scientists would develop vaccine or other treatment for combating this virus. Unfortunately, our top priority is gaining power not education. Our neighbouring country India has made countless vaccines that not only help in combating this problem rather boost its economy to export this vaccine to other countries. In one line I conclude my whole story on the quote that education is the panacea of all ills of Pakistan.

Muhammad Hussain is a student of BS Hon. English Literature at University of Punjab

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