Educationists term Covid-19 an opportunity to embrace/strengthen e-learning

ISLAMABAD: Covid19 has posed serious challenges for education and health sectors across the world. However, the pandemic has only accelerated the process of e-learning which has already been inevitable. Pakistan, like other countries of the world has to embrace the much needed change. The educationists and research analysts said this during the online dialogue ‘COVID 19 Pandemic and Health and Education Challenges to Public and Private Education System organized by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), here on Tuesday. 

Dr Ayesha Babar Kavish, Head of MPH, Pakistan Institute of Ophthalmology, Al-Shifa Hospital, Rawalpindi, said that education, health and economy are interconnected and the pandemic has it all of these areas adversely. She said that it’s high time to create balance between the education and health and therefore, moving towards e-learning is the area to be focused upon at the moment.   

Mr Qaiser A. Raja, CEO, Skills Enhancement Academy (SEA), UK, the crisis resulted by Covid19 has provided us an opportunity to update the curriculum and remove whatever that has become obsolete before putting it online.   

Ms Ayesha Aslam, HOD Junior Section at National Level, Pak-Turk School Systems, was of view that the pandemic has pushed back our development goals including in education sector in an unprecedented manner. The challenge for the teachers and the students is now to be quickly adaptive to e-learning to overcome this learning-crisis.   

Ms Saima Subtain, School Education System Analyst and Director SEA- Pakistan Office, while highlighting various possible coping mechanisms, said that launching educational channel has been a timely initiative by the government as an effort to respond to challenge. She said that various institutions from public as well as from the private sector are busy in building their capacity to strengthen e=learning which is an encouraging sign. 

Dr Sajid Amin, Policy Research Analysts at SDPI, said that every change initially seems disruptive to existing opportunities but eventually it leads to opening up of the new opportunities. He said that the crisis resulted by the pandemic has to be over after a few months but adapting new technology would have positive result on our education system.

He said that online learning would also expected to reduce the numbers of drop out children as well as the gender gap and the girl students may get benefitted from the e-learning that were finding traditional education inaccessible for various reasons.  

Mr Shahid Minhas from SDPI earlier presented an overview of the pandemic and its impact on the education.