SWABI: Students have demanded doing away with the online classes started by various universities on the directives of the Higher Education Commission because of poor Internet service and lack of teachers to understand the topics.

They said the students of far-off areas faced Internet problems coupled with power outages. They said that they were unable to grasp the lectures as there were lot of technical concepts which could not be understood without the help of teachers.

The students said there was marked difference between learning in the class and online.

“My head of department told me that if you are not taking interest in online classes, then you should freeze or drop your semester,” said a student questioning the policy of HEC to engage students online.

Cite poor Internet service, lack of teachers, power outages as reasons

Haseeb Ahmad, a student of chemical engineering department of a leading university, said learning through online classes was not applicable in Pakistani setting as the country lagged behind in the technological field plus ‘our internet is too slow to cope with the situation’.

Abdur Rehman, a final year student of mechanical engineering, said online classes had perturbed them. “All my colleagues are worried because neither are they learning nor can they leave the classes,” he said.

Abbas Ahmad Khan, another student of engineering, said due to lockdown they were unable to get Internet packages and online learning was also hampered by power outages.

A girl student said she had left her laptop in her hostel in Islamabad because she was not expecting prolonged holidays. “Now I cannot collect it from the hostel due to lockdown,” she said, adding without laptop she could not attend the online classes.

When contacted, academic staff of various universities said they had no other option but to stick to the HEC directives to teach online. They, however, admitted that students confronted various issues while learning online.

They said online proficiency was a vital skill and that parents were being informed about new academic compulsions in these extraordinary circumstances.

WOMAN ELECTROCUTED: A woman was electrocuted in Dagai village of Razaar on Monday.

Farooq Khan, husband of the deceased, told Dawn that she touched a live wire while working in the house and became unconscious. He said the woman was taken to the basic health unit in Dagai where the doctor on duty pronounced her dead.

Published in Dawn, April 7th, 2020