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COVID-19 Lockdown :University of Karachi to conduct online classes

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As the on-campus activities have come to a grinding halt due to the ongoing pandemic the Covid-19, many universities are trying to conduct the online classes, the University of Karachi, the largest university of Pakistan, is also gearing itself to conduct online classes.

“We need to ensure that the learning process continues. Given the number of students at the University of Karachi, we need to make sure that our house is in order before we start online classes.

We do not want to go for any misadventure in this regard. What we need is a well thought out strategy to enable each and every student to learn and meet the course learning objectives.” This was stated by the KU Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Khalid Mahmood Iraqi in a high level meeting held in this regard at the Vice Chancellor Secretariat on Wednesday.

The meeting was attended by the KU Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Khalid Iraqi, the Registrar Professor Dr Saleem Shahzad, all the deans, Student’s Advisor Dr Syed Asim Ali, in charge Main Communication Network Professor Dr Sadiq Ali Khan, Deputy Director Quality Enhancement Cell Jawaid Akram. The agenda was to discuss the possibilities and opportunities in online and blended learning.

In the first phase of online and blended learning, the University of Karachi will ensure the training of teachers for using online learning platforms and video conferencing software for conducting classes.

The Learning Management System, made available by the Higher Education Commission Islamabad through Virtual University, will be configured to be used by teachers and students for assignments, assessments and sharing lectures.

The University of Karachi will incorporate the LMS as the online learning platform within two weeks while the varsity’s QEC would prepare tutorial contents and videos for commonly used online learning tools like Zoom, Teams and Adobe Connect and others.

On this occasion, the KU VC Professor Dr Khalid Iraqi formed a technical experts committee which would be supervised by the Director QEC Professor Dr Syed Jamil Hasan Kamzi whereas Dr Sadiq Ali and Engineer Ishfaque Khanzada from MCN, Director Distance Learning Program Professor Dr Abdul Waheed, Students’ Advisor Dr Syed Asim Ali, Deputy Director QEC Jawaid Akram were appointed as the members of the said committee.

This committee would submit its report in the next meeting which would be held next week. During the meeting, it was observed that students from remote areas lack the internet facility and may face various difficulties to take online lectures.

The KU Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Khalid Iraqi directed the in-charge MCN Dr Sadiq Ali Khan, in consultation with respective deans, to prepare standard operating procedures to facilitate students.

All deans were asked to prepare the necessary requirement and establish connections with their faculty members and their students for concrete adherence at the grass-root level. One of the members observed that this step would broadly facilitate the University in distance and virtual learning via online class management strategy.

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