Pakistani students pay tribute to teachers for ensuring studies amid Covid-19 pandemic

Xinhua Xinhua

06th Oct, 2021. 09:49 am

ISLAMABAD: A group of students in the Pakistani capital Islamabad on Tuesday presented flowers and handmade colorful cards with best wishes to their class teacher to offer heartfelt respect and tributes for ensuring their studies amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Miss! You are very great and we all love you very much because you cared for us a lot. You worked hard to keep our studies continuing through online classes during the closure of the school, which helped us to get high marks. You are my favourite,” an excited student told his teacher on World Teachers’ Day which fell on Tuesday this year.

Anam Iftikhar, a teacher of the 10th grade at the Ghazali School in Islamabad, has been receiving applause from all-around for her untiring efforts to avoid the discontinuity of studies for students.

“The sudden closure of schools by the government due to the pandemic was unexpected for us. We were worried about handling the new situation to ensure minimum damage to children’s studies. Finally, we decided, planned and started executing online teaching,” Iftikhar told Xinhua.

The teacher added that not every student could have online classes because only around 50% of her students could manage to have internet and gadget facilities for online classes, which was a big issue.

Iftikhar is one of the teachers who did extra hard work for online teaching as well as the resumption of physical classes at schools by adopting all safety measures against Covid-19.

Zeeshan, a 10 grader told Xinhua, “It was a very tough and stressful time for me. I needed high marks to get admission to a good college, but school closure affected my studies. But my teachers taught and guided me superbly and now I have good marks.”

World Teachers’ Day has been observed in Pakistan like other parts of the world with the theme “Teachers at the Heart of Education Recovery” to recognize teachers for their tireless efforts to keep teaching smooth during the hard time.

Pakistan has detected 1,252,656 Covid-19 cases so far, including 1,178,883 recoveries and 27,947 deaths since the first case was reported in the country in February last year.

The Pakistani government has been paying special attention to the vaccination of teachers and other staff members for the safe recovery of education in the country.

The National Command and Operation Center (NCOC), a department leading the country’s campaign against the pandemic, decided last week to start vaccination of all 12-year and older youngsters with a dedicated drive at schools to make it easier for children to be vaccinated.

The country has administered 86,630,655 doses of vaccines so far, said the NCOC, adding that 31,020,211 people have been completely vaccinated.

Last month, Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood told the media that Pakistan’s new academic year would start from August next year instead of April to mitigate the tutorial losses.

According to teachers and therapists, children facing autism spectrum disorder suffered the most due to the closure of schools and coaching centres.

“We can teach normal students online with some effort, but it is very tough for teachers, autistic children and parents make online studies useful for them,” said Summaya Mudassar, a teacher at the Asas International School in Islamabad.

Both the students and teachers have suffered from the pandemic times, especially in terms of losing jobs after the institutions faced funds shortage.

Amir Nawaz, an educationist in Islamabad, said that following the pandemic, a big number of families stopped paying children’s tuition fees to private schools, causing financial crises, which finally led to unemployment of teachers and closure of schools.

“The plight of teachers is that they lost their earnings during the tough days,” Nawaz told Xinhua, urging the government and society to pay special attention to teachers who did heroic jobs for the nation.

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