Online Education in Pakistan
E-Learning, or educational technology, in Pakistan (with its ICT Infrastructure) has developed mostly in the 21st century. Online universities and e-learning platforms in the country have also opened in recent years. The introduction of 3G/4G technology has contributed to the growth in m-learning (mobile learning), allowing the incorporation of e-learning in classrooms as well as in informal education. Education in Pakistan is under the administration of Federal and provincial governments, allowing multiple e-learning opportunities for individuals in Pakistan.
E-learning in Pakistan has become more popularized in 2020, due to the onset of the covid-19 pandemic, which resulted in the closure of public and private educational institutes and the transition to online modes of learning. Efforts are being taken to train faculty members to improve the quality of their lectures and methods of virtual teaching. At the same time, the HEC is in contact with telecommunication companies to ensure internet connectivity through subsidized internet packages for students.
Universities offering online education in Pakistan
Several universities are currently offering online education in Pakistan.
Allama Iqbal Open University
Established in 1974, the Allama Iqbal Open University has 44 regional campuses and centers across Pakistan. AIOU is one of the world’s largest institutes for distance learning, and the largest distance learning institute in Pakistan. It offers SSC (secondary schooling) to Ph.D. level education to students in Pakistan. AIOU provides e-learning facilities through virtual classrooms as well as providing interactive online study material. Moreover, it provides web-based assignment submission and assessment.
Virtual University of Pakistan
Virtual University of Pakistan (VUP) is a public university based in Lahore. It was established in 2002. The university delivers virtual lectures through its cable channels on video-viewing platforms like YouTube and Daily Motion. Virtual University also offers a free online portal for digital skills training programs across the country, known as DigiSkills.
Preston University is a private university based in major Pakistani cities such as Karachi, Islamabad and Lahore. It was established in 1984 and has been offering online programs to students all over the country. Preston University was primarily established as the School of Business and Commerce and was recognized by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) Pakistan.
Located in Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan, COMSATS university Islamabad has a virtual campus. This campus is called CUI VC and it offers students online courses through asynchronous learning sessions.
Virtual lectures to students in rural Multan
COMSATS University began offering online lectures through COMSATS Internet. Students in Chak 5 Multan were able to receive lectures through this service from teachers in the capital city, Islamabad, campus. The university began focusing on higher education opportunities in other rural areas as well.
University of Peshawar
The University of Peshawar offers students distance learning opportunities. It provides resources like e-libraries, audio/video lectures, computer mediated instructions, and other web-enabled materials.
Learn Smart Pakistan
The Knowledge Platform’s Learn smart Pakistan offers course content from grade 1 until 12. Based in Islamabad, the company offers both offline and online solutions for Smart learning.