The education system of Pakistan has already been deficient with several flaws in curriculum and structural impairments, even before the onset of COVID -19. The sudden closures of the schools for such a long duration made the situation even more worst.
There are approximately 55.3 million children within the age limit of 5-16years, who suffered extensively because of prolonged school closure. Moreover, 22.8 million children are the ones who never went to school. This global Pandemic has amplified the risks and shortcomings of a weak academic system.
Based on the quality of education, the Human Capital Index ranks Pakistan on number 134 among 157 countries. Furthermore, the education standard of Pakistan is awful enough that there is a considerable gap between the Expected Years Of Schooling(EYS) and the Learning Adjusted Year of Schooling, which is about four or more educational years.
For example, a Pakistani child is anticipated to complete his 9 years of pre-primary, primary and secondary education by 18 years. But when we see according to the quality of education pursued, this is equivalent to well-paid ears only. Hence, a gap of 4.5 years.
There could be other reasons behind the low educational performance. Presently, the children from well off backgrounds are doing their best because of being in their comfort zone, fastest internet connection-payment gadgets and a well well-paid teacher.
Besides that, the well-educated parents are also there for homeschooling. On the other hand, children with low socioeconomic statuses are devoid of these facilities. Moreover, they could be eliminated from schools because of the non-payment of the fee. The reason for being a financial crisis is because of the lack of jobs for daily wage earners.
It means that a majority of people belonging to low socioeconomic backgrounds are the major victims of COVID-19. A study confirmed that closing schools would raise the number of dropouts and learning impairment impacting the entire population in the long run.
There is a decline of about 14.64% on LAYS, keeping schools closed for 5 months. There is a loss of $234 considering the yearly earning to a student whereas the earning loss for the entire life is $2,349. Moreover, there are 15 million children who would be vulnerable to quit schools.
The most appropriate solution to minimize this Loss is to prepare an efficient online learning strategy. The effectiveness of this system is dependent on the accessibility and parallelism to the computers and faster internet connection.
In actuality, all the children and their households should be evaluated to access these facilities. Similarly, educators should also be trained to carry out online sessions appropriately and regularly. Proper virtual schools should be devised with all the amenities.
Educational sessions should be broadcasted more effectively so that not a single child confronts the skills or education deficiency. There will be a decline in the economic statuses of families whose children are in private schools and they will be shifting their kids to Government schools.
Therefore, the government should not only focus on maintaining social distancing and Standard Operating Procedures, but should also ensure the economic stability for every household. Although the schools are operational since last month, the risk of a second wave of Corona outbreak is still there.
So, the educational system should be resilient enough to cope with future lockdown and any other pandemic. Our focus should be strengthening our strategies in the long term and allocating a handsome amount of budget in favor of child education.