The Kabul Times.

Afghan students back online learning despite low-speed internet

By: Shukria Kohistani
KABUL: Following coronavirus outbreak and lockdown of many cities to prevent further outbreak of the virus in the country, all government and private higher education institutions have been closed. A number of university students are now following their studies through online teaching provided by a number of universities in the country.
A number of students in their interviews with The Kabul Times correspondent by welcoming the step taken by a number of universities in the country say it is a good step as they can follow their studies without any problems.
“Following closure of the country’s universities by the government due to coronavirus outbreak in the country, our university has provided us the facility of online learning process at home. At the beginning, there were some problems following the process, but now we receive our studies regularly and on daily basis, which is a good step towards following our higher education studies,” said Rohullah, a student of political science at Kardan University.
He added that the only problem facing many students in the country was the internet, saying that the speed of the internet was down, while the price was high, which was creating problems for university students.
He further said that the ministry of telecommunication and information technology has not taken any necessary steps in this regard, stressing that the only way that help university students follow their studies was the online learning method; therefore, the ministry of telecommunication and information technology should take urgent and necessary steps towards creating facilities and exerting pressures on telecommunication companies to increase the quality and speed of their internet services in the country.
According to Rohullah, Kardan University has promoted and provided an official website for its students to have access to learning stuffs and digital library of the university as well as to participate in daily debates with the university lecturers.
Pointing to financial problems of students and facilities being provided to students by the university, he said following coronavirus outbreak in the country, the university has cut down charging of fees on students, which is a big step taken by the university authorities.
He added that despite of the coronavirus outbreak in the country, they need to proceed and continue their higher education and change the ongoing challenge to an opportunity and make use of it in an effective way, hoping they could defeat the coronavirus through social distance and following instructions of the ministry of public health.
Navida, a Kabul University student, says using the online system is good for students in current circumstances only if the price of internet gets low.
“Kabul University has provided opportunities for students to follow their students through online system as they can follow their studies for three hours on daily basis,” Navida said, asking the government to exert pressures on mobile companies to reduce the price of interview during the lockdown so that university students follow their studies through online system.
Previously, a small number of students had followed their studies through online system, but it is the first time that a large number of students are following their higher education through online system. According to the country’s ministry of higher education, online learning system is ongoing without any problems. Based on decision of the respective ministry, all universities of the country should provide their teaching services through online system to their students. The decision has been taken following the coronavirus outbreak and lockdown of many cities in the country.
So far more than 13,500 Afghans have been tested positive for COVID-19 in the country.

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The Kabul Times.