According to UNESCO, over one billion students worldwide from 150 countries, or about 70 % of total enrolled learners, have been affected by school closures. Massive shifts to remote learning have been implemented to ensure the continuation of education. Colleges and universities around the world continue to face many challenges in the transition to full online education. What have been the experiences in transition for higher education institutions in South Asia? What are the lessons learned from the massive shift to online education in the region? How can you continue to nurture education and learners during a crisis? How do you transition from emergency remote teaching to effective online learning?
To answer these questions and to create an opportunity to re-engage participants of the 2019 South Asia Higher Education Symposium, the Hollings Center organized an online dialogue event entitled Transition to Remote Learning During the COVID-19 Pandemic on June 17, 2020. The aim of the event was to provide an opportunity for participants to share their own experiences with the transition to remote learning while discussing challenges and successes. Four participants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India and Pakistan provided brief updates on the current situation related to higher education in their countries. Following the presentations, a lively interactive discussion took place with all of the participants. The event provided a great opportunity for participants to reconnect since their last time together in Istanbul in April 2019. Many noted the importance of this experience sharing and the need for continued engagement. The importance of working on these issues as a region was stressed by many. The Hollings Center will reflect on some of the challenges raised by participants during the discussion to organize new events on these challenges in the coming months for this group.
Dr. Sumaira Yaftali, Dean of Nursing and Midwifery Faculty, Kabul University of Medical Science, Afghanistan
Dr. Shamsad Mortuza, Pro-Vice Chancellor, University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh
Dr. Vanita Shastri, Dean of Global Education & Strategic Programs, Ashoka University, India
Mr. Murtaza Noor, National Coordinator, Inter University Consortium for Promotion of Social Sciences, Pakistan