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TV channel proposed to mitigate academic losses

TV channel proposed to mitigate academic losses

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Education Shafqat Mahmood on Tuesday chaired a meeting that decided to launch a TV channel as an alternative educational content delivery mechanism in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic to mitigate academic losses.

According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Education, the meeting was informed that the proposed dedicated TV channel will be launched by the ministry in collaboration with PTV and it will start broadcasting during the first half of April.

The participants of the meeting agreed that content will be developed in partnership with various education providers free of cost. The meeting also decided that the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE), an umbrella organisation of 423 educational institutions in Islamabad, will set up emergency learning centres where subject specialists will review and schedule the content. It was also decided that the minister will review the progress on a daily basis.




Education ministers’ conference

The meeting was informed that an inter-provincial education ministers’ conference will be held on Thursday (March 26) to take a decision on further closure or reopening of educational institutions. The ministers will also be briefed about the proposed TV channel.

Sources said there was a likelihood that the ongoing closure of educational institutions will be extended to May 31.

“We are working on various proposals to extend the vacations and most likely we have to extend them till May 31. But a final decision will be made during the education ministers’ conference,” said a senior officer of the education ministry.

He said if the ministers agreed to keep the institutions closed till May 31, there could be a cut in the summer vacations depending on the weather conditions. “We have to depend on online content and the TV channel,” the officer said.

When contacted, Joint Secretary Education Syed Umair Javed, who is also the acting director general of the FDE, told Dawn that the meeting focused content development and the TV channel.

Asked about the closure of the educational institutions, he said: “A decision will be taken by the education ministers during the conference.”

Meanwhile, FDE spokesperson Saqib Shahab said following the directive of the education ministry the FDE was working on content development.

“Curriculum experts have been holding meetings at F-10 College,” he said and added that every possible step would be taken to mitigate educational loss of students. “We are concerned about the educational loss but at the moment health safety of the students is our priority that’s why schools and colleges are closed,” he said.

Published in Dawn, March 25th, 2020

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