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The Financial Express

Corona-time education sector  

Published: May 10, 2020 22:16:55 | Updated: May 12, 2020 22:55:56


Corona-time education sector   

From schools, colleges to universities --- both public and private, every institution stands affected by the prolonged closures and suspension of classes. It also leads to an unclear situation as to exactly when students will be able to finish their academic years. To the students of schools and colleges, completing academic careers at their respective institutions on time is critical to their future educational stages. In the ongoing suspension of classes, the students  set to emerge as the most vulnerable to uncertainties are those at universities. These class suspensions have been prompted by the raging Covid-19 pandemic and putting in place of measures to prevent its further spread. These steps of keeping the primary and secondary-level schools; colleges and universities closed have initially been linked to the coronavirus-related  shutdown. Some other factors are also now being considered.

According to media reports, the secondary and higher secondary education division secretary has said all educational institutions will remain closed until May 30 on account of Ramadan, Jumatul Wida, Shab-e-Qadr, and the Eid-ul-Fitr. However, the Prime Minister on April 27 said all educational institutions may remain closed until September if the situation created by the Covid-19 outbreak does not improve. Sources at the Directorate of Primary Education have said all primary schools will remain closed until June 6 due to Ramadan, Eid-ul-Fitr and the summer vacation. The deferment of the publication of SSC exam results and arranging the HSC exams for an indefinite period also come under the purview of these closure extensions and changes in the curricular schedules. Evidently, the authorities concerned have little scopes to intervene in these steps. It's because the imperative here is keeping school and college students and teachers free of the pandemic's attack. It's mainly due to this that these institutions have been declared closed since March 17 immediately after the start of the coronavirus spread.

It is implied that due to these lengthy closures, students are going to pass through series of disruptions in their respective academic careers. But suspending the routine curricular activities has been necessitated by the grim reality linked to the rising ferocity of the coronavirus pandemic in the country. Similar spectacles have been witnessed by many other countries hit by the virus. Despite the easing of lockdowns, few countries have yet to open their educational institutions. It's because none of them want to push their future citizens into the harm's way. The moves to implement the order of closures covering the educational institutions and their extension have, evidently, been prompted by a similar objective on the part of the country's authorities. There are few options before the nation in its task of ensuring social distancing among students. The authorities have adopted some measures which will help the students in general recoup the losses in their academic activities. One of them is online classes. It's a novel idea no doubt.

 But except the students at upscale educational institutions in the cities and towns and their suburbs, most of them are feared to remain deprived of this facility. The device warrants nonstop supply of electricity, continuity of internet connection and affordability of students to own a personal computer. Considering the present reality, students living in remote rural areas fear to be left in the lurch compared to their urban counterparts. Of late, both the public and private universities are seen being haunted by the return of the scourge of sessions jam. The universities succeeded in uprooting the curse after a long struggle. A number of private universities, and a couple of public ones, have gone online. The public universities can, in no way, belittle the benefits of the digital service.

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