PEHAWAR: A group of university students and their parents on Wednesday rejected online classes and examinations over a lack of access to Internet in parts of the province.
They demanded the immediate withdrawal of the initiative and the reopening of educational institutions under the standing operating procedures.
Student Osama Humayun told a presser here that most students won’t be able to attend online classes and exams due to unavailability of Internet facility, especially in remote districts.
Students Tariq Rahim and Shakeel Khan urged the government to open universities to benefit learners enrolled there.
Mr Osama said most students jointly prepared notes as huge books couldn’t be taught in online classes.
Demand reopening of educational institutions
He said a limited number of students had an access to Internet, so they won’t be able to take lessons online.
The student demanded of the chief minister and governor to step in to save the future of students.
He said brilliant students wanted to sit examinations to secure good grades instead of passing ones.
Mr Osama said the prolonged lockdown had caused financial losses to the people, so their children enrolled in universities were unable to pay semester fee.
He demanded of the government to waive off semester fee of students to prevent dropout.
The student warned that if the universities went ahead with online education plans, then the student organisations from different universities would jointly decide the future course of action.
Zulfiqar Awan, whose children are enrolled in educational institutions, spoke about the online classes and demanded of the government to reopen universities.
He said students knew the impact of Covid-19 crisis and would follow standard operating procedures to protect themselves from the virus.
Meanwhile, the Pakistan Peoples Party’s Peshawar chapter rejected online classes and said if the government didn’t ensure the provision of smooth electric supply and internet, the online education system would be a total failure.
PPP Peshawar president Zulfiqar Afghani and other office-bearers told a news conference here on Wednesday that different universities had begun conducting surveys about online classes but the idea seemed to be unfeasible due to the prolonged power outages and lack of access to internet.
“Being a father, I, too, know about the problems of students, especially during the downloading of files due to poor access to Internet,” he said.
Mr Afghani said the frequent power outages were another major hurdle to online studies.
He said mobile service providers didn’t improve data service even in urban areas, so how the students could take lessons online.
Published in Dawn, May 28th, 2020