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Covid-19 laid bare inequities in education


The novel coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis has laid bare the gaping and persistent inequities in educational opportunities in Pakistan which may not only result in large scale learning losses but also widen the learning and enrolment gaps across class, gender, location, disability and other markers of social positioning.

This was stated by academics and lawmakers while speaking at a webinar on “Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4, Covid-19 and Building Back Better”. The webinar had been organised by the Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA) in collaboration with Foundation Open Society Institute (FOSI) Pakistan.

MNA Mehnaz Akber Aziz highlighted the adverse impact of Covid-19 on the education of children and stressed the need to have a robust system in place to mitigate the negative effects of any future crisis.

With over 39.6 million pre-primary, primary, and secondary students affected in Pakistan, the initial response by the federal ministry and the provincial education departments was to test out the use of distance learning solutions such as TeleSchool, TaleemGhar and learning apps.

Federal Education Ministry Technical Advisor Umbreen Arif highlighted the efforts made by the government to facilitate children during the pandemic and shed light on the government's plan to build back better the education system of the country.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 19th, 2020.