Pak students may get visa extensions’

LAHORE:01 April:Renowned educationist Syed Abidi has said that hundreds of Pakistani students who were unable to return due to Covid-19 or flights closure and whose visas were expiring in March/ April may get extension in their visas. Talking to The News, Syed Abidi said UK, particularly, had constituted a Corona Immigration Team (CIT) and dedicated email CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk to help and assist all such students or visitors who were in the UK and could not get back to Pakistan. Syed Abidi further said all these students could contact the home office through this email address and provide their details and they would be facilitated. Answering a question regarding the interruption in studies in Pakistan, Syed Abidi emphasised the need of e-learning and that the government should now seriously look at developing easy learning apps and tools so that the students could continue their studies whether at school or university level. Syed Abidi, who is also a recipient of Tamgha-e-Imtiaz—a coveted civil award for his contribution to education sector, also said crash training programmes could be initiated for teachers to understand the delivery of such online courses. He added that several world universities and education bodies have now started to offer free online courses and certifications. Among these are prominent as British Council, Harvard University and other international education bodies. The acclaimed educationist also suggested that the government should offer inexpensive internet packages for students to connect to their respective portals of institutions and continue their studies online. He also said that new methods of learning such as critical thinking, verbal reasoning should be used with project-based curriculum in the virtual classrooms. He hoped that this nation would overcome this crisis staying united and rise together going forward. Syed Abidi was also of the view that at federal level the Higher Education Commission (HEC) while at the provincial level education ministers should consult educationists, academics and policymakers to start developing such programmes. “I’m sure we have huge potential, talented people and IT companies that will come forward in helping the government to design and develop these programmes that can offer facilities to students across Pakistani academic diaspora,” he concluded.The news.

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