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HEC is taking action against substandard online university classes due to complaints

HEC is taking action against substandard online university classes due to complaints

Saad Ali Rana
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The watchdog for higher education has taken note of the complaints about poor quality of online university courses in the country and is ensuring corrective measures.

On Wednesday, HEC said it moved on multiple complaints from the students regarding the low-quality content, delivery, and connectivity on various subjects. The commission will now directly intervene, as announced by the chairman Dr. Tariq Banuri. He has sought detailed information on these courses to determine if the subjects/courses meet preset standards. If any university is found lacking the capacity of delivering online lectures, it will be directed to stop offering such courses/lectures. Dr. Tariq said that HEC is closely monitoring the developments amid the COVID-19 pandemic and is collaborating with universities’ leadership to provide support where needed to minimize the academic disruption.

Students bycott

In a bid to contain the spread of the virus, several areas of the Pakistan are on lockdown. Although Higher Education Commission (HEC) in its recent notification asked universities to start teaching online if they had well-instituted and operational learning management system (LMS); otherwise, the universities might choose to remain closed for all formal academic processes until May 31, 2020, and consider the break period as summer vacation. In the meantime, these universities shall make arrangements for conducting online classes in case the closure extended because of the Coronavirus pandemic, the notification stated.

However, soon after the new directives, #SuspendOnlineClasses hashtag popped up on twitter and trended on top with thousands of complains circulating.

Students are pointing out the resource constraints and lack of stable internet connection is making e learning difficult for young Pakistanis. Many students are also complaining about quality of education despite of paying heft amount of fees. However, many of the students have warned to boycott universities if classes not get suspended with immediate effect.

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