Students of the NJV Government Higher Secondary School in Karachi received tablet computers free of charge to assist with their education during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Image Credit: Supplied

Karachi: Students of the oldest government-run school in Sindh - the NJV Government Higher Secondary School in Karachi - today received tablet computers free of charge to make them part of the online system of education during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The school, established in 1855, is named after Roa Narayan Jagannath Vaidya who was a visionary educationist of Sindh. The grandeur three-storey building of the school on MA Jinnah Road of Karachi is a historical monument in the city belonging to its colonial past. It was established by Sir Bartle Frere who was a famous colonial administrator in the region.

The non-profit entity “Akhuwat” has been running the school since past four years. The school now enrolls 1,400 students as 135 of them are boarders at the school who belong to other towns of the province. These boarders were given the tablet computers at a ceremony where Sindh Education and Labour Minister Saeed Ghani was the chief guest.

Speaking on the occasion, Saeed Ghani appreciated the services of Akhuwat in managing the historical school while urging the teachers and officials of the Sindh Education Department to follow suit and manage other government-run schools in the province in the same excellent manner.

He said that the officials and teachers associated with the Sindh Education Department should realize that over 40,000 government-run schools in the province could not be managed by handing them over to the NGOs.

Coronavirus emergency

He said that like elsewhere in the world, educational institutions in Pakistan had also remained closed in Pakistan for over six months, owing to the coronavirus emergency, causing much setback to the cause of education.

“Though schools are open now but nobody knows when they will be closed again as no one knows as for how long this second closure lasts,” said the Education minister.

He said the Sindh government and the NGOs managing the government-run schools had been adopting measures to introduce a system of online education if orders were given to close educational institutions for the second time.

He said that a process of registration was on in collaboration with the Microsoft to register students of the government-run schools for a system of online education.

“This a fact that we are unable to extend the facility of online education to 100 per cent of students in the province but if this opportunity will be provided up to 60 to 70 per cent students then it will be a good step,” he said.