All educational institutions of the country are shut-down due to the second wave of Covid19. A third world country like Pakistan where the rural areas are deprived of basic facilities in this modern world. The government cannot provide internet facilities to every corner of the country. The knowledge seekers (students) migrated to hostels in big cities like Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar from far-flung areas to get a quality education. And contribute to the field of science and research to deliver their best in economic and social advancement to bring prosperity in the country.
In research we say, every new problem/issue is an opportunity for new research/findings. Covid19 is a new issue and a new opportunity for students in the field of science and research.
Firstly, the government is supposed to tackle this issue in ‘opportunistic approach’ to provide facilities for students to participate in the research study on Covid19. Unfortunately, the doors of labs in universities and research institutes are closed for students. Every single day wasted of a research student is a huge loss for country and research in specific.
Secondly, all labs in educational institutes and research institutes shall remain open with SOPs for students to continue their research activities. To explore new knowledge and contribute to the advancement of the country.
Thirdly, the government shall refine the “closure of all educational institutes” to certain specific and a “Smart Education Policy”. Campuses, labs, hostels, libraries and transport shall remain open for all PhD and MPhil/MS research students.
For undergraduate students, the course work shall be reduced from 3 credit hours to 1.5 credit hours due to the situation of Covid19. Campuses shall remain open for students in three shifts. The morning shift from, 8 am to 11 am. The afternoon shift from 12 pm to 3 pm. The evening shift from 4 pm to 7 pm. Each shift has a total of 3 credit hours, to be followed with 2.5 hours lecture and 30 minutes break (Prayer/Lunch/Tea.
All students may be divided accordingly by their concern departments to follow the SOPs and the timings of campuses. All labs shall remain open for students having lab practice as their mandatory part of the coursework.
Somehow, students of colleges and secondary schools shall remain online. The primary school kids shall be taught with “Home Education” by their parents in homes.
Fourthly, the government shall impose a law to follow SOPs strictly in the premises of educational campuses. Wearing facemask, 1.5 meters distance and all other SOPs with the instructions of WHO to be followed with strict law. If any student/staff is not following the SOPs shall be fined with a specific amount of money, a warning letter from the institutions for the relegation of degree for one semester or year and so for the staff as well. Every person who is not following the SOPs shall be punished as per the law to implement the strict policy for the opening of educational institutions.
Fifthly, the government shall follow “Smart Educational Policy” in the opening of educational institutes to maintain the loss of students, research and education. The policy of closure to be refined with the smart opening of universities. First PhD and MPhil/MS student shall be allowed to the campuses, followed with undergraduate students and then the students of colleges and schools.
The last but not the least, closure of educational institution is the loss of students and the loss of the country. I must quote Benjamin Franklin here to explain the importance of education in general and in the situation of Covid19 in specific. He says, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” – Benjamin Franklin.
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