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15 Aug 2020

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How Coronavirus Impact On Technological Advancement In Pakistan
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How Coronavirus Impact On Technological Advancement In Pakistan 

COVID-19 has brought home the reality that helps in education Technological Advancement In Pakistan. That delivers excellent content and engages students and teachers has never been more critical. At the same time, many education systems have resisted changing their 150-year-old structure. A necessity. Now compels them to do what declining student achievement could not. Students will question how much and in what ways they use technology. They will become woke to a massive amount of time and effort. It also has been using its technology, and they will wake up to its excesses.

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They miss real ball games and actual interaction with other people. There will be a rebound of social people toward being together and putting down the phone. It will question their reality.

Technology Advancement

Some people will find that returning to a more interactive human experience is difficult. They don’t want to return to a close reality. There was a time when people shook hands. Over the last few years, people shook hands and embraced. Some people will welcome not shaking hands and not embracing and not being close to other folks. These peoples will bury themselves in technology even more than before the virus. They will see their technological life and chose it over human feelings and transactions.

So technology will advance in the sense that some peoples will now interact with others less than before. People will be less connected, less interpersonal, less human. They will work from home, hire lawn workers, and never talk to them, have groceries or restaurant food delivered, watch entertainment on TV at home and never go out. They will adopt a new lifestyle that will distance people from each other, which leads to Technological Advancement In Pakistan.

The Covid-19 pandemic has sent countries around the world into crisis mode with many. Now having to cope with severe social isolation and physical-distancing measures. They have forced citizens, organizations, and governments to adapt as best they can do. Despite the enormous economic and social disruption.

One of the significant threads in the adoption story is the role of technology and the internet. Even recently, as the turn of the millennium. The notion that various elements of our lives, relationships, work, and public services could find a way to carry on. While most of us confined to our homes would have seemed like a fantasy.

Education Problems In Pakistan

While admittance to education was already a problem in Pakistan – 22.8 million of Pakistan’s over 70 million children are out of school. The coronavirus outbreak has exposed its profound technological inequities.

Last month, hundreds of students across Pakistan protest against the government’s decision that universities hold online classes. Even as poor internet services remain a significant problem, particularly in remote provinces like Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Gilgit-Baltistan. 

Indeed, home broadband is expensive outside Pakistan’s big cities, smartphone penetration stands at 51% this year. Only one million school-age children have regular access to digital devices and bandwidth, according to the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority. However, about 40 million Pakistani children have access to a television. which is why the government says it kicked off its coronavirus distance learning strategy with a dedicated TV channel called Teleschool.

Launched on 13 April just two weeks after schools closed, the channel runs on state-owned PTV Home, which has a subscriber base of over 54 million people. The broadcasts content for grades 1-12, sourced for free from four Pakistani ed-tech companies. A text messaging system with 250,000 subscribers is add in May so parents and students could engage with dedicated teachers. Its  technological advancement in Pakistan

“We’re also now working towards starting a radio school to have some remote areas accessed.”

Federal Education Minister

According to Shafqat Mahmood said that an e-learning portal with digital content available on-demand. And a local area network system to deliver content to the poorest regions were both in the works. A “student relief package” with low-cost internet packages and reduced duties on smartphones place. Before the prime minister for approval. this step increase Technological Advancement In Pakistan 

Initial funding for Teleschool came from a $5m World Bank grant, advisor Arif says. In comparison, a $20m grant has secure from the Global Partnership for Education, a multilateral funding platform focused on developing nations. Discussions were ongoing with the World Bank for longer-term assistance of $200m to support learning in “districts with inequities,” Arif says.  But for now, the struggle is genuine for millions of Pakistan’s children. 

Ten kids, one smartphone 

Through April, one seventh-grade student at a low-cost private school in a northwestern Pakistani district received her homework on her father’s smartphone. Her father then back to work at his out-of-town job, and the family’s only internet-enabled device was now 400km away. “It just spend most of my time now improving my handwriting,” says the student.

Even households with smartphones are facing problems. One middle-aged woman, a former teacher from Lahore, says she has one smartphone and ten kids to teach in the home where she lives with her extended family. 

 Parents and educators’ concerns have only deepened as the coronavirus-forced hiatus has grown from weeks to months. Schools have initially schedule to reopen on 15 August. But government officials have now said they may open on 15 September if coronavirus figures improve. In the meantime, online content is running out. Technological Advancement In Pakistan and Teleschool only has enough material to broadcast until mid-July, Education Minister Mahmood says. And quickly launching new learning applications and ensuring a steady flow of online content is proving a significant challenge. Thus, entrepreneurs in education technology see the pandemic as an opportunity for expansion and investment in a long-ignored sector. 

Government officials admit edtech has not been a priority because of low national numbers for devices and internet connections. But Hassan bin Rizwan, the CEO of Muse SABAQ, an award-winning learning app for primary-grade lessons, said though smartphone penetration was not ideal, it was growing fast.

“One million new connections add each month this year,” he says. “Smartphones are growing faster than any other device.”If we start developing an industry only when smartphones are at 90% penetration, it might be too little too late – Haroon Yasin

“Tech never stays static. In the 90s, if someone had said we would all go into work carrying sleek electronic ‘books’ that contained all our work and entertainment, no one would have believed them,” Yasin says. “If we start developing an industry only when smartphones are at 90% penetration, it might be too little too late, and we risk not serving a generation of students.” 

For now, thanks to the pandemic, edtech numbers are rising. Since schools closed, the Taleemabad app has seen a 660% rise in the rate at which people are joining the platform, and Muse SABAQ grew by 200%. Knowledge Platform Pakistan has sold its edtech products to 400 new schools, its CEO Talhah Munir Khan says. To keep the momentum going, edtech experts say the government must now invest in private sector partnerships and allow wide-scale testing of digital solutions on Pakistan’s nearly 200,000 public sector schools. It helps in technological advancement in Pakistan

The only major pilot project run by the government – on 75 high schools in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad in partnership with Jazz, the country’s biggest telecommunications network and edtech company Knowledge Platform – was never scaled.

According to Ali Naseer chief corporate at Jazz, it has improved students’ matriculation scores by 30%. Still, there is a “silver lining in the Covid-19 cloud”, he adds: that the virus has finally sparked government interest in the edtech sector. “If there is a focused government initiative to drive this forward, I think within two to three years [edtech will be a reality],” Naseer says. 

Technology Is No Silver Bullet 

Some experts warn that the coronavirus is a call for the government to fix existing problems in the education sector – the poor quality of teachers, ghost schools and low levels of learning – rather than look towards technology as a “silver bullet”.

Long Term Approach

 Riaz Kamlani, an executive vice-president at The Citizens Foundation, one of the largest networks of privately owned low-cost schools in Pakistan, said the government needed to take a “longer-term” approach. “When we talk of a coronavirus-type of situation, we must be careful not to fall into that trap. All problems can solve with technology,” Kamlani says, adding that given Pakistan’s “ground realities”, the government should focus on a system where the quality and role of the teacher remained central to learning and could be improved. 

Protection Of Minors

As more children spend more time online during the pandemic. It will be important that internet companies including social media, online video platforms, and games companies turn on child protection features by default. Behavioral identifiers and age verification may help, and although it is impossible to exclude all risk from stumbling upon potentially harmful content such as pornography, parental controls are effective road-blocks. Increased awareness-raising for parents can be done by ISPs, mobile operators, and social media companies. Social media helps in technological advancement in Pakistan

Achievements

Surprisingly, Pakistan has achieved some noteworthy markers in its technology journey, including 39% growth (third highest) in IT software and service development since 2004 and an estimated market value of over $2 billion in 2019.

In telecoms, Pakistan has reached 33% smartphone market penetration with 17% internet usage since 2014. The average internet speed is 24 Mbps (62nd fastest), with 24% of the population as subscribers.

IT exports from Pakistan is a project at over $6 billion for 2020, whether this can achieve now is a big question mark.

Even so, several multinational companies such as Oracle, Microsoft, Russian IT Export (RITE), Huawei, Cisco, and IBM have established local offices in the country, given the state’s IT demand and the commercial potential it.

Achieve digital revamp. The first and foremost objective is to identify specialized IT experts (developers, infrastructure engineers, network specialists, etc.) and sort these doyens into specific categories (engineers, field experts, advisers, specialists, implementation geniuses, support staff, etc.).

Corona Tiger Force On Pakistan

The recent announcement about the registration of ctfop Citizen Portal is the speediest and most effective instrument for this statistics collection. Subsequently, data analytics can efficiently distinguish specialists for each category.

This scheme would provide a holistic professional outlook of the country and help assemble teams to tackle IT difficulties in different sectors. During the short self-isolation stage, the exercise could conduct on national service grounds and moral responsibility with no financial obligation to the national exchequer.

In subsequent long-term phases, corporations under respective ministries could establish with commercial dismemberments on year-on-year profitability.

Relief Measures

IT gaps in the state machinery can be segmented into the following categories based on national importance and financial profitability in the starting phase.

Each of the categories is highly software-oriented rather than physical hardware. Hence this bodes well for the working mode during the present seclusion. The above resource capital could provide relief in the following areas:

 Service Industry

Major businesses rely on IT processes for transactions, efficiency, and functionality. The platforms commonly used are Oracle, Amazon, Cisco, IBM, etc. Aftersales support and maintenance are the real pain areas, where either the resources are in short supply or available overseas in India, China, the USA, or Europe. Resultantly, the system suffers from poor performance and management. It naturally inhibits IT adoption amongst potential client base or sectors.

The Ministries of IT and Telecommunication, and Education and Professional Training should target. This support-based necessity by establishing an outsourcing network, similar to that in India or Ireland, in a work-from-home formation.

Security

Pakistan is facing various kinds of existential threats, such as extremism, sectarian violence, and separatist movements. 

These are accentuated by factors including the lack of security and surveillance infrastructure, limited real-time intelligence, and sub-optimal security hardware, which has led to an estimated 70,000+ casualties and over $120 billion in business lost revenue over the last ten years.

Similarly, Pakistan’s geographic location makes it a strategic hub and an international trade route partner. It connects a mass volume of traffic that passes multi-directionally through its borders (imports/exports and cross-overs).

The recent development of road/rail networks (CPEC), airports, and ports has strengthened Pakistan’s strategic trade position. Technological Advancement In Pakistan A vital security aspect related to such trade activity is the identification, monitoring, bookkeeping, and safeguarding of cargo and mass personnel transit from entry and throughout its lifecycle to exit.

Several smart city projects have conceptually identified or poorly implemented to address security concerns. There is a clear mandate from all agencies to protect, curtail, and eliminate all threats to the population and the critical infrastructure.

The Ministry of Defence, prime security agencies, and National Telecommunication Corporation should take the security initiative and hand-pick experts to ensure security measures are strictly in place.

E-Government

The national budget for e-government set at $350 million in 2019 for citizen portals, transport, energy, healthcare, education, interactive media, communication channels, e-commerce, etc. 

There are reports difficulties in delivery and management of service quality, issues. Such as heterogeneity, intangibility, inseparability, & perishability are prevalent across different platforms.

The digital transition is moving at a snail’s pace with no real results insight. Therefore, the Ministries of Health, Science and Technology, and Education and Professional Training should make use of IT implementers to provide e-platforms for ease of service and enhanced connectivity. 

Cybersecurity For IT Infrastructure Safeguard

Digitalisation provides automation and connectivity, but IoTs/ICTs inclusion also increases susceptibility to outside interference, i.e., cyberattacks.

There have been several cases of successful cybersecurity breaches or cyberattacks on IT infrastructure globally. In Pakistan, the banking data of 20,000 clients was stolen from 22 financial institutions in 2019, costing millions in losses.

Therefore, the Ministries of IT and Telecommunication, Finance, Planning Commission, and security agencies. It should assume the responsibility of building country-wide firewalls with cybersecurity specialists. When the resource capital is available, this technological execution, coupled with the need of the country. It could be the ultimate game-changer for Pakistan and leapfrog it into the elite club of advanced technology nations.

Pakistan would simultaneously develop a data record of its available resources and set up a network of keen problem solvers to resolve the IT difficulties indigenously. It also helps in technological advancement in Pakistan

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