In the 21st century where everything has gone online my peaceful land is still deprived of the internet service. Easy access to internet is the need of time and this deadly pandemic has made it more necessary for every walk of life. Unfortunately, access to internet is still a big challenge in most of the villages of Upper Chitral. Educational institutions are closed and students are guided to proceed their learning with the online modalities.
Tehsil Torkhow along with other areas is completely deprived of internet connectivity and the students cannot attend their online classes as they do not have access to internet. It is fact that large number of students from far-flung and backward areas of upper Chitral move to down cities to avail education. Since the institutions remained closed during first and second wave of COVID-19 pandemic and are still closed all over the country.
With closure of educational institutions, the students of other areas moved to their homes and started learning from home. But students hailing from Torkhow upper Chitral, the technologically underprivileged area could not move to their homes because they are aware of the internet problems of their area.The government should pay attention towards this serious issue of connectivity. In other areas of Chitral the fiber optics have been operated and, in some places, 3G and 4G services are available. But the only network available in this whole tehsil “Torkhow” is Telenor 2G.
Students from this area are gravely suffering due to unavailability of internet and connectivity to proceed learning with the new normal. The pandemic has forced people to stay home and stay safe but the students of Torkhow tehsil are facing problems due to complete unavailability of internet. This situation will badly affect the future of younger generation of this area, especially the learners. The government must take serious attention towards this situation and tackle the issue of internet connectivity in the area. The students have to travel elsewhere to stay connected even in the situation of lockdown because internet facility is not available in the area. Where would they go?
Access to internet is a big challenge for them. They are climbing mountains hoping to catch stronger connection of 2G service and everyone knows the bandwidth in 2G. Who is responsible for this negligence in this modern era? Should the students wait and increase the learning gap? Should they stay climbing mountains? The issue is questionable and reflects the failure of local leadership in the area. There is a need of responsible leadership in the area that may think further and provide a vision towards a bright future of younger generation.
The writer is a student at a private university.