Islamabad, March 31 (IANS) Pakistan’s Higher Education Commission (HEC) has directed all universities and accredited institutions in the country to start online classes for the students staying at home due to the coronavirus pandemic, said a notification.

According to the notification issued on Monday to all registered institutions of higher education in Pakistan, the HEC asked to utilize the learning management systems to initiate online classes, reports Xinhua news agency.

The Commission added that the institutes that have not sufficient resources to start online classes should plan to buy modern technologies and train staff on an urgent basis without compromising over the education.

Following the outbreak of the COVID-19 in the country, the government of Pakistan ordered the closure of schools, colleges, and universities across the country for three weeks earlier this month before extending it to May 31.

Fearing that the closure of the educational institutions might go beyond May due to the epidemic, the HEC also directed the universities to arrange online classes and lectures in case the closure is extended.

Earlier on March 18, HEC Chairman Tariq Banuri announced to have developed a databank of the online courses and shared it with universities and also asked the universities to prepare courses for dissemination to students.

The Pakistani government has taken several measures to control the pandemic, including enhancing testing and medical facilities besides imposing a partial lockdown across the country to promote social distancing.

Pakistan has reported 1,775 confirmed coronavirus, with 23 deaths.

–IANS

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