Online Distance Learning

Online Distance Learning

*President asks HEC to further improve the Online Distance Learning Policy­*

Islamabad, President Dr Arif Alvi has asked the Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan to further improve the Online Distance Learning Policy while keeping in view the fast-changing requirements of the modern age and adopting international best practices. He highlighted that the importance of distance learning education had increased manifold, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that the distance learning programmes needed to be integrated into the mainstream education system. The President made these remarks during a briefing on Online Learning Policy (ODL) of Higher Education Commission (HEC), at Aiwan-e-Sadr. Executive Director HEC, Dr. Shaista Sohail, and senior officials of the Government attended the meeting whereas Dr Atta-ur-Rahman and members of HEC’s committee on ODL policy participated via video-link.

The President was briefed about the Online Distance Learning (ODL) Policy of the Higher Education Commission. It was informed that the main objective of the policy was to provide rules, guidelines, and minimum quality standards under which the universities would be allowed to offer online and distance education. It was apprised that the ODL policy would provide a platform to the institutions that wanted to provide affordable online education to the students. It was further informed that the policy also aimed at putting in place a uniform assessment system for the students so as to maintain the quality of education. The meeting was briefed that the policy was formulated after consultations with the stakeholders from public and private universities and experts in distance education and e-learning.

While appreciating the online and distance learning education programmes being offered by the Virtual University (VU) of Pakistan, the President urged the need for multiplying the efforts of institutions like VU so as to increase the enrolment of students. He also highlighted the fact that the content of the online/distance learning courses should be devised according to the requirements of the market. He further underlined the need to increase the number of students at higher education institutions for the socio-economic development of the country.