In a government school in Gulberg, girls from grade six to 12 are being taught using the latest technology, bidding sweet farewell to the conventional method of teaching using a blackboard and chalk.
The Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) and the Schools Education Department (SED) has launched an e-learning application. By using this application, one can access books on science and mathematics from grade six to 12.
These books contain more than 13,000 video lectures, 593 examples, 2,100 audio lectures in Urdu and 1,830 animations to help children grasp the complex concepts of science and maths.
A student from grade eight, Khushbu, says that as a result of engaging with the interactive material, she is now able to understand certain concepts better.
Another student Mehreen Zahid reveals that she has installed the e-learning app on her tablet which she uses to revise her lessons at home. “This has eliminated the need to go for after school tutoring”, she says.
School Teacher Shazia Pervez maintains that teaching has now become easy. “There are certain topics in science which cannot be explained easily using words alone. Now children can easily understand subjects that previously seemed difficult all because of these videos and animations,” she explains.
PITB has distributed tablets to over 200 teachers in seven districts across the province while multimedia classes are being conducted in 856 schools and 12,000 teachers have also been trained. Because of this, science and math results have improved considerably.
In the second phase of digitisation, PITB will upload grade four and five course books online. After this has been done, they will focus on uploading books on English.
PITB Chairman Dr Umar Saif says that through this application an equal education system will be encouraged in the province. This will also free parents from the burden of sending their children for after school tutoring.
In addition to this, around 2.2 million street children can also acquire an education via the app. Saif maintains that there are 53,000 schools in Punjab where four million teachers are teaching 1.2 million children.
Implementing a uniform education system in all the schools across the province and training four million teachers is a huge undertaking. However, through this e-learning app this has become a reality, he says.
Previously, 60 schools from three districts in the province were selected for an experiment. Out of 60, 30 were provided with a digital screen and a tablet while the other half were not, he explains. Within a year, the result at the schools that were provided a digital advantage improved by 74%, Saif claims.
He adds that the beta version of the app that was released four days ago has now been downloaded more than 6,000 times. “By digitising textbooks, we will ensure that course books will be available for students free-of-cost which will make equal education possible at all schools across the province,” he articulates.