Governments urged to resolve e-learning issues

Academicians say facing impediments like connectivity

Representational image. PHOTO REUTERS

The infrastructural and governance level issues needs to be addressed by the governments to streamline the e-learning after Covid19 scenario in addition to efforts that the learning institutions are putting to be adaptive to new challenges.

Academicians from international and national learning institutions highlighted this while sharing their views with the participants during online dialogue ‘Covid-19 and the Challenges to Higher Education in Distance Learning’ organised by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) in collaboration with Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) on Tuesday.

Linnaeus University Sweden E- Learning Specialist Dr Alastair Creelman on the occasion said: “we need to understand that there is a long way to go to overcome the challenges including using and developing the required tools effectively.”

The future of online higher education in Pakistan

He said that the students and the teachers need necessary skills for effective e learning whereas the issues such as home environment and connectivity also need to be assessed. The production of teaching and learning guides could play critical role in improving the quality of e-learning, he added. AIOU Vice Chancellor Dr Ziaul Qayyum was of view that the focus on finding the ways to respond after Covid19 challenges could lead as to right strategies.

He said that AIOU has enrolment from all parts of Pakistan including remote areas with low and even no connectivity, and responds to the needs of students accordingly. He said that the quality assurance is another critical aspect that needs our attention and be responded accordingly.

Dr Kam Cheong Li, Open University of Hong Kong, China, while highlighting various tools that are being applied by his institution in after Covidi19 situation, said that the students and faculty hasn’t been much familiar with online learning mode earlier.

Online learning: a blessing in a changed world

Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi, Vice Chancellor Dr Saima Hamid said Covid19 pandemic has accelerated the paradigm shift from the conventional to technology-based learning. She said that the universities need to enhance collaboration on new learning techniques and embracing the technological mode of learning is the only way forward.

Dr Shafiq ur Rehman, Head of English and E-Learning, Yumbu University College, Saudi Arabia said that initially the challenge of shifting towards technological based learning was a huge challenge for his institution. However, “we built our capacity of e-learning and it has been proving effective,” he concluded.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 17th, 2020.