Higher Education Commission (HEC) has directed all universities and accredited institutions with sufficient resources to start online classes.

Following the outbreak of Coronavirus in Pakistan, the government ordered the closure of schools, colleges, and universities across the country.

According to an official notification, HEC has asked all universities which have well-built learning management systems (LMS) to initiate online classes. This way, education will not be compromised.

Moreover, universities facing technological, technical, or spatial limitations can remain closed for academic activities till 31 May 2020 and mark the said period as summer vacation, HEC has clarified.

In the meantime, these universities shall make arrangements for conducting online classes in case the closure is extended because of the Coronavirus pandemic, the notification stated.

Such universities shall plan, acquire, train, and shall be able to execute an LMS from June 01, 2010, so that ongoing semester could resume even in an eventuality of the extended closure of universities.

We don’t know how long the restrictions will stay in place. The experience of other countries is quite varied. If the restrictions get lifted on June 1, the teaching will take place face to face. In the meantime, it will only be online.

HEC has taken several steps to make sure that the students are imparted with quality education during the closure, instituting a technical support committee (TSC) to help universities’ staff adapt to the online mode of education.

In the coming weeks, HEC will also set up a National Knowledge Bank (NKB) aiming to provide students and teachers access to a wide variety of academic resources.

The commission has tasked National Academy for Higher Education (NAHE) to recommend online tutorials to increase the skills of the teachers imparting online education.