Monday 20 April 2020

Kotli Sattian Police Station

Photo by : Abdullah Satti (Silent Clicks)

Saturday 18 April 2020

Revolution in the Making as Globe Turns to Online Education - Zeenia Satti

For the first time in history, the world is implementing an entirely new teaching model – online education. Necessity is the mother of this invention but unlike other adaptations to survive the Covid-19 pandemic, this one could last. It is a new pedagogical approach and when it develops fully, both teachers and students will find it indispensable.
In Pakistan, every educational institution should have a department dedicated to advances in learning and should conduct R&D for developing further expertise in using new technologies in education to make adaptation easier.
Though online education is called distant learning, it is actually a more intimate experience than class room learning, where a large number of students sit at a distance from their teacher. Online learning screens show a student’s close up, show facial expressions, display the name of the student in a box under the face as the student talks, making it easier for teachers to know students by their names. Students, who sit at home in their comfort zone are less shy of speaking than they are in class rooms inside a school building. Discussing Zoom, Harvard gazette writes, both students and faculty have been discovering all of its benefits. Break out groups and chat rooms are enabling much of the small group interactive pedagogy.
For science education, where labs are necessary instruments of learning, classes are being deferred during corona emergency till students have access to lab facilities. It is this aspect of online learning that requires development of sophisticated virtual programs that create lab like environment for students and teachers both. I see it happening one day.
For Pakistan, the benefits of online learning are enormous. Students and teachers save time commuting to and from schools. They also save capital that is spent on transportation, uniforms, school bags, etc. Families can save substantial portion of their earnings that is spent on children going to school. National savings rate can rise, making more capital available for industrial activity. All the time consumed in getting ready to go to school can be diverted to research and learning. Online learning is of great environmental benefit as it cuts carbon emissions from vehicles used to drive children and staff to and from schools. Carbon emissions have become one of the greatest hazards of our time and cutting down will continue to be the priority of human beings.
Online learning is also the best method of preventing drug trafficking and drug addiction in youth. Educational institutions are places where drug pushers find their markets. Peer pressure, curiosity about popular drugs and social conformity are prime causes of addiction in Pakistan. In online learning, students stay home, research on the internet, take care of the elder members of their family and spend quality time with their seniors. The latter have student’s best interest at heart. They can exercise parental controls to monitor internet usage by young adults and keep them out of harm’s way.
During corona emergency, an unintended consequence of online learning is community-connect on how to respond to the pandemic. Online learning not only allows students and teachers to care for those at home who are at higher risk, the forum can be utilized discussing how society can equip itself for responding to emergency situations. Chat rooms can become forums where personal situations are discussed to establish patterns that underlie issues, and ideas can be discussed to find innovative solutions.
One day, online learning will be able to break the ‘school’ barrier and become more inclusive. The practice may one day establish an online learning community in Pakistan that is nation-wide. Globally, it can erase the north-south divide in education. Already, some of the great educators in top western universities have made themselves available to impart free education to students in developing countries. This movement is likely to grow in strength and will withstand capitalist tendency to make profit by imparting exclusive education. It is, in fact, a great revolution in the making that owes its existence to triumph of higher human ideals, upheld by great philosophical minds of our time, who want to uplift humanity from the darkness of ignorance and find it most satisfying that they can reach out to far off corners of the globe and can impart enlightenment to people with less resources.
Online education is the only means to breaking exclusive barriers in education system of our country. Imran Khan has specifically focused on this problem, in the book he authored during his political campaign and in his policy emphasis after becoming the Prime Minister of Pakistan. A remote teaching hub can create teachers’ teams for different subjects and an inclusive online community of students and teachers can be built across provinces and far flung areas of the country. The urban rural divide can shrink, to the benefit of human resource development in the entire nation. The hub can be designed around a subject, instead of a school.
Online education can only improve the ethics in educational practices. Because of its transparency, teachers are likely to be more motivated to be accurate in their content and competitive in their methods. Abuse of students by teachers is not possible online.
Online education is not vulnerable to terrorism, school shooting, and other disasters such as earthquake or epidemics and pandemics.
Online education will free governments from having to spend on bricks and mortars to educate their people. Only higher professional learning institutions can be built to draw students to a premise. For all other school and college level education, from Kindergarten to Bachelors, online education can be availed as the system of education that gives results without costly investments that have nothing to do with development of human brains. Eco systems in rural areas would benefit because most trees in rural areas are felled to make roads just to access educational institutions. National energy consumption demand would be eased. Money saved from having to construct school buildings can be utilized for providing other services, including tele health.
For post-colonial world, online education is a great way to cement national bonds and keep divisive ethnic prejudice at bay. In greater humanity, it can be means to overcoming racial prejudice and propagating humanitarian justice. Online education can allow for instant translation. Imagine a child in Europe, conversing, up close, with another child of same age somewhere in Africa and both growing up learning ideas together.
Virtual libraries are easier to manage, easier to access, and cheaper to avail. Think of how many trees would be saved if humanity stopped printing books?
The benefits of online learning are many and far out-weigh disadvantages. The only disadvantage in online learning is system’s vulnerability to hacking. Online learning would have to evolve to safeguard against hackers.
Online education is a global revolution in the making. While describing this transformation in learning, I must say that history is ending – and is about to be made.
My country should take this revolution very, very serious. Here, there are to be found solutions to some of the most enduring problems in our education system.

Thursday 16 April 2020

Mental Health nad Covid-19

The World Health Organization has declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. The COVID-19 is affecting 203 countries and territories around the world, more than 2,216,228 cases of the COVID-19 virus have been confirmed worldwide with more than 151,006 deaths as of April 16th.
Pakistan is no different in this case, In Pakistan, the pandemic has taken the lives of 135 people, and the total number of confirmed cases mounted to 7,025, and graph is increasing exponentially. Keeping rising cases in view, Country went into lockdown to stem the spread of the virus, with authorities advising people to avoid social gatherings. However, nobody is giving importance to the consequences of the self-isolation.
As human beings are social creatures and social isolation is something unfamiliar and new, therefore a significant amount of the population is finding it difficult to adjust to this new situation due to the loss of control. Isolation means there is no easy access to everyday necessities, and this social distancing can have severe implications on mental state that can lead to a chain of intense and unhealthy feelings, especially over long periods of time.
Those who struggle with anxiety disorders frequently have intense, excessive and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations. and COVID-19 can add to one's "typical" levels of stress and worry. Fear of the unknown and uncertainty over how long we’ll have to resort to limiting our daily lives, fear of contracting the coronavirus or even worry about how this will affect one's financial situation are legitimate concerns. But it’s important to know that we are all in this together. There are millions of people who are worried about the same thing and feeling the effects of COVID-19.
A study Research in The Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) showed that depression is associated with exposure to infectious diseases. We don't yet know what the mental health impact of the coronavirus will be. But based on past research we could anticipate similar effects related to COVID-19, where increasing numbers are being exposed to the virus and many more are making drastic changes in their lives to try to slow its spread. Reactions to the crisis can include feeling overwhelmed, fearful, sad, angry and helpless, according to experts. Some people may have difficulty sleeping or concentrating. Fear of contact with others, travelling on public transport or going into public spaces may increase, and some people will have physical symptoms, such as an increased heart rate or an upset stomach. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “The outbreak of COVID-19 may be stressful for people,”
The hashtag #stayathome has become a widely-used slogan on social media. Groups created for the people to share views and feelings about the situation and other similar kinds of interactions can help as it creates bonding and comforts the people that share similar issues. However, such groups can have a down side to them as well due to spreading of misinformation which is a cause of fear, anxiety and depression. The resultant stress can contribute to the manifestation of anxiety disorders. The information overload through social media, including misinformation, “posed a major risk to public mental health during this health crisis”.

Misinformation on COVID-19 is another virus.

The 24/7 media coverage of COVID-19 pandemic has added to the already heightened levels of stress, anxiety and isolation, and there are myths circulating on social media. One of them claims that if you hold your breath for ten seconds without coughing, discomfort or tightness you do not have the coronavirus. This is completely false. And then there's this one: If the coronavirus gets in your mouth, "drinking water or other liquids will wash them down through your esophagus and into the stomach. Once there in the tummy ... your stomach acid will kill all the virus." Again, this is completely false.
Severed depression sometimes leads towards suicide and this is evident in cases of COVID-19 outbreak. For instance, German Finance Minister, Thomas Schaefer committed suicide worrying about the economic fallout due to the virus. In other cases, a suspect of the virus is reported committing suicide from hospital building and in their apartments
In light of these cases, The World Health Organization (WHO) has acknowledged that the crisis is generating stress, and has advised people to avoid watching, reading or listening to news that causes feelings of anxiety or distress.
Therefore, firstly we need to give our nervous systems breaks and enjoy activities that will reduce our stress levels.
Secondly, maintain a healthy and normal schedule for eating, sleeping, and activities. Avoid eating lots of junk food. In this case one should take Vitamin D as much one could, as it can improve both our immunity and our mood.
Thirdly, engage yourself in physical activities such as, making small home improvements can also help us feel empowered and provide a healthy reduction in news consumption.
Fourth, it is high time to revive the reading culture as It’s a great time to finally get to the books you usually don’t have time for.
Fifth, adopt other means of interacting with your loved ones while staying away from them. Social media is of great help as you can nowadays contact easily using social media applications. Make it a habit to contact at least two people a day. You will feel better, and they will feel better.
Sixth, as most gyms and fitness facilities are closed during this time, it is important to get into a habit of exercising at home. Just because you are stuck at home doesn’t mean that you can’t continue working towards your fitness goals. This will help in improving your mental health in the depressing situation of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Last but not the least, continue your previous sleep pattern. Do not start sleeping in and binge-watching shows to stay up late into the night. Stay motivated towards something. If you can work remotely, that is great. If you are currently displaced from a job, think about what you would like to improve upon, create, or learn about. Some boredom is inevitable, but you don’t have to just accept it.
Studies show that altruism can increase our own sense of well-being as long as we aren’t overwhelmed by helping. Altruism can help us feel compassion and reduce our social fears. It can distract us from our own problems and remind us to feel grateful for what we have. Consider ways that you can help others at this time.
In a nutshell, as we are all in this together. Pandemic like this do occur from time to time throughout the world. Actual chances of becoming infected are very small if you take common-sense precautions.

By : Sadia Satti

Friday 10 April 2020

Farooq Zafar Welfare Trust - FZWT

Farooq Zafar Welfare Trust is a Non-Profit organisation based in Islamabad. The Trust was founded on April 19, 2019, in the loving memory of Muhammad Farooq Zafar Satti (Late), with the vision to become the source for transforming lives of the underprivileged communities. The mission of this trust is to eliminate poverty, food for all, to promote Gender Equality, Good health and Well being.

+92 308 8971317


Pakistan's People Led Disaster Management Movement , (PPLDM) is based on the belief that disaster management should be in the hands of...