Press Release

Forced Internet Outages Impair Pakistan’s Edtech Progress: Experts Warn


Forced internet outages by the government are significantly impeding online education and disrupting students’ learning and exam preparations, said Danial Zuberi, an acclaimed educationist, on Saturday.

This grave concern was echoed by him and other prominent experts during a webinar hosted by Off The School, a not-for-profit educational platform.
The webinar, titled “Edtech in Pakistan: Understanding Scope & Challenges,” featured a distinguished panel of speakers, including Saim Rashid, Head of Operations at Noon Academy, and was moderated by Omama Ansari, the Head of the Edtech Program at Off The School. They all collectively focused on the pressing issue of forced internet outages and its adverse effects on the learning ecosystem.

“Edtech can revolutionise education in Pakistan,” asserted Ansari, “however, the reality of intermittent internet outages is a significant challenge. Through this webinar, our aim is to explore opportunities and identify barriers like this to facilitate meaningful discussions that drive educational innovation.”

Rashid echoed Ansari’s sentiment, adding that “the potential of Edtech in Pakistan is immense, but challenges such as access, connectivity, and affordability must be tackled to ensure equitable education.”

Zuberi, highlighting the predicament of frequent internet outages, urged for resilient contingency plans to lessen their impact on education. “It is crucial to develop strategies that address the impact of forced internet outages on students’ education. Ensuring access to offline resources, leveraging mobile technology, and providing alternative modes of learning can help counteract the adverse effects of these disruptions,” he stated.

The webinar served as a platform for thought-provoking discussions on the future of education, with topics ranging from inclusivity and accessibility to policy support and the balance between technology and human interaction in education. The webinar underscored the need for concerted efforts to drive innovation and transform the education sector in Pakistan.

Sharing his expertise, Rashid said: “The scope of Edtech in Pakistan is immense. Through personalised learning platforms, interactive content, and data-driven insights, we can empower learners and enhance their educational journeys. However, challenges such as access, connectivity, and affordability must be addressed to ensure equitable distribution of educational technology.”

He discussed how artificial intelligence (AI) and the metaverse will shape the landscape of online education, stating, “AI and the metaverse hold tremendous potential to revolutionise online education.”

OTS, through initiatives like this webinar, remains dedicated to fostering dialogue, encouraging innovation, and creating meaningful impact in the realm of education. Their aim is to inspire collaboration and facilitate the effective integration of Edtech solutions to improve learning outcomes across Pakistan.
OTS is a not-for-profit institution and online platform dedicated to bridging the socio-economic gap by offering accessible formal and skills-based education to all individuals.

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