HEC to inspect varsities’ capacity to deliver online classes: Dr Banuri
ISLAMABAD: In response to a number of complaints regarding online classes in some universities, the Higher Education Commission (HEC) has asked for detailed information on these courses in order to inspect the quality of the content, delivery, and connectivity.
This was stated by HEC Chairman, Dr Tariq Banuri in a statement. He said that if a university was found to be lacking in capacity to deliver good quality online lectures, they would be directed to halt such lectures until the requisite conditions were met.
HEC is monitoring the developing situation arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic, and is in contact with university leadership to identify areas where support would be needed to minimize academic disruption. Contingency plans have been drawn for various scenarios. If the current restrictions on movement are extended beyond 31st May, all universities will have to resort to online education.
To avoid system problems from a single "big bang launch”, HEC has allowed digitally advanced universities to start offering online courses as soon as they are ready. However, clear instructions have been given that the quality of education should not suffer at any cost. In case a university needs some time to establish their learning management system, they will have until 31st May to do so.
It is pertinent to mention here that HEC has been working with universities to minimize the impact of the lockdown of universities on academic activities. To this end, three specialized committees have been established to help arrange IT facilities, software, tech support, and curate substantive online content.
In the meantime, all public sector universities have been provided free access to Microsoft Teams software in order to facilitate online meetings and discussions. The HEC and Microsoft have been working together to ensure smooth introduction of this platform.
HEC has also collected information in regard to the concerns raised in the social media. – APP