I hope you and your loved ones are doing well and keeping safe.
In the wake of the global pandemic of COVID-19, before you and I would even take a note, our world has transformed. For better or worse, only time would tell but the irrefutable truth is that we are facing a phenomenon described as a ‘new normal’. Just as much as we wish to swiftly revert to our normal lives where we had a regular and in-person interaction; it’s hard to foresee how long it might take for us to safely return to that more desirable state where we engage with you in the physical sense and enjoy networking and interacting socially, while learning from each other’s experiences, knowledge and skills.
Notwithstanding the importance of classroom learning, as your education provider, we are also cognizant of our responsibilities towards you and wish not to slack on our commitments either with regards to the learning outcomes or the degree timelines. And without compromising on these commitments, we are resuming our academic activity in a format that although is new, yet not so unfamiliar to our times. It is important to note that we are not alone in adapting to these transitions (although temporarily) since many of our counterparts are resorting to online formats for academic delivery.
Online Teaching and Distance Learning have remained a norm and are become exceedingly popular both at home and abroad. These technology-enabled, tested and tried instructional methodologies include live lectures on platforms such as Google Hangouts and ZOOM, recorded video-lectures, online repositories of literature and resource-sharing, YouTube links on platforms such as Google Classroom besides OpenCourseware. These techniques and variants of them shall be employed by your course instructors over the course of the remaining semester and will be conveniently accessible to you all via the internet.
While the world struggles to triumph over these turbulent times, I am certain you would find consolation in remaining connected to your academic undertakings and making progress through your lives despite all odds.
I pray for our quick and safe return to our normal lives as before, Ameen!
Shahid Hafiz Kardar