HEC Orders Universities to Start Online Teaching

In the wake of Covid-19 endemic and closures, Higher Education Commission (HEC) has asked the universities and other degree-awarding intuitions which have well-instituted and operational learning management system (LMS) to begin online lectures.

At the same time, the HEC has clarified the universities which are not yet ready for online instructions, on account of different limitations (technological, technical or spatial) may choose to remain closed for all formal academic processes until May 31, 2020, and treat the break period as summer vacation.

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

Nonetheless, the HEC further clarified that it was essential that the quality of learning should not be compromised by universities/institutions going for online teaching. According to details, HEC has established a technical support committee (TSC) to extend all necessary support for the transition to online or hybrid mode of laearning. Universities can approach the TSC at covid19tsc@hec.gov.pk for acquiring the LMS.

HEC is also establishing the National Knowledge Bank (NKB) to provide online access to a range of academic materials, including curriculums, syllabuses, lists of textbooks, links to digital libraries, lesson plans, video lectures, exam questions, quizzes, and assignments.

Likewise, the National Academy for Higher Education (NAHE) has been tasked to arrange or recommend online tutorials on skills and competencies needed for good quality online education.

HEC has instructed universities to ensure quality online teaching. HEC’s decision of online teaching is well-appreciated by the corridors concerned. When asked, HEC Chairman Dr Tariq Banuri said the universities were fully committed to teaching the students.

“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 mean time, it will only be online,” he concluded.

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