Students across the country are suffering due to the closure of educational institutes across the country in view of the coronavirus pandemic. The launch of the TeleSchool by the federal government is an excellent initiative aimed at imparting education to students across Pakistan, even in remote areas. While the channel is by no means a perfect substitute for regular schools, it will nonetheless contribute towards taking educational content to peoples’ homes during the lockdown. Even those who do not go to school will now have access to educational content, which is great for a country like Pakistan that has a rather poor literacy rate. It would be wise to continue the channel even after the lockdown is hopefully lifted which the government has already hinted at.

The education ministry should be congratulated for accomplishing this feat in such a short period of time. It would be premature at this point to pass judgment on the quality and effectiveness of the content. The concerned officials should put in place a feedback mechanism, which would allow them to make necessary changes in accordance with the demands of the students.

Private television channels should also consider reviewing their policy towards airing educational content. The media can indeed play a prominent role in promoting a culture of learning in the country. There should be programmes aimed at promotion of STEM subjects as well as arts and culture. Why does Pakistan not have a great educational quiz show like for example the University Challenge broadcast in the UK? Where are the programmes primarily dedicated to students young and older? Where on our local channels can we find scientists discussing the secrets of the universe or the latest developments in technology? Only a curious and educated youth can secure a good future for the country.