KARACHI: Plunged into Covid-19, academia in the developing countries is searching its own survival techniques.
Despite, lack of technical support and resources, number of universities, especially in private sector have somehow managed to switch to the online mode of education.
At the top in Pakistan is Iqra University to mark the milestone in smooth adaptation and delivery of online classes.
The private institute being ranked as number one for many years in a row by international bodies and Higher Education Commission (HEC) has been much criticised.
However, it stood tall amidst the most disastrous times, emphasizing on maintaining the standards even in online mode of education.
The Covid-19 attack in mid-semester during Spring-2020 was sure to block the delivery of routine classes like many other universities.
However, the management of Iqra University took the challenging decisions and embraced the change positively.
The huge mission of abrupt shift from face-to-face to online mode for conducting twenty-five hundred and fifty courses was much troublesome than quitting the plan for it required cumbersome efforts in terms of technological adaptation and cost. Yet, the higher management preferred to help not only its learners but the faculty and staff.
The comprehensive plan guiding the faculty on online content development including the recorded video lectures, live sessions, online practice material and all other relevant resources did not only demand a long-sighted vision and investment but the practical strategies to encounter day-to-day unforeseen challenges.
The front line heroes in academia were surely the IT personnel this time, who were on toes throughout to support the structure in flawless delivery and the successful implementation is evident from the student feedback.
In addition, the university deferred the fees dues during the pandemic and made sure the students do not suffer only because of the economic plight in times of global emergency. Furthermore, the management revised the fee structure for the upcoming semester with a straight reduction of 25 percent to further facilitate their students.
The University has proved to be ahead of times with a promising decision of improving their Learning Management System to ensure the steady progress.
To sum up, the initiative of the University did not only help the stuck students awaiting for timely completion of the degree but served as a life-saver for many bread-earners who could have been the victims of downsizing in this calamity.