UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News


Pakistani students struggle for free internet

Pandemic highlights problems in the education system as the country's digital divide widens

Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution
Pakistani students struggle for free internet

Adnan Ali holds a placard with his classmates at the Student Solidarity Protest in Lahore on June 23. (Photo: Kamran Chaudhry)

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Every morning around 8.30am, Adnan Ali has to leave his rented apartment in search of mobile phone signals to mark his attendance at university.

“My flat is in the basement of the building where signals are weak, let alone 3G coverage. Usually the lecture is missed when the internet package expires in the middle of a session. Most of the data is consumed in downloading videos shared by professors,” Ali, 20, told UCA News.

He is in the fourth semester of a bachelor of education degree at the Lahore-based University of Education that was abruptly closed along with all nationwide educational institutes in late February as a precautionary measure against the novel coronavirus spread.

Pakistan has emerged as one of the countries with the fastest rates of coronavirus infections in recent weeks. It had reported nearly 189,000 coronavirus cases with 3,755 deaths as of June 23.

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As 2020 unfolds, we are asking readers like you to help us keep Union of Catholic Asian News (UCA News) free so it can be accessed from anywhere in the world at no cost.

That has been our policy for years and was made possible by donations from European Catholic funding agencies. However, like the Church in Europe, these agencies are in decline and the immediate and urgent claims on their funds for humanitarian emergencies in Africa and parts of Asia mean there is much less to distribute than there was even a decade ago.

Forty years ago, when UCA News was founded, Asia was a very different place - many poor and underdeveloped countries with large populations to feed, political instability and economies too often poised on the edge of collapse. Today, Asia is the economic engine room of the world and funding agencies quite rightly look to UCA News to do more to fund itself.

UCA News has a unique product developed from a view of the world and the Church through informed Catholic eyes. Our journalistic standards are as high as any in the quality press; our focus is particularly on a fast-growing part of the world - Asia - where, in some countries the Church is growing faster than pastoral resources can respond to - South Korea, Vietnam and India to name just three.

And UCA News has the advantage of having in its ranks local reporters that cover 22 countries and experienced native English-speaking editors to render stories that are informative, informed and perceptive.

We report from the ground where other news services simply can't or won't go. We report the stories of local people and their experiences in a way that Western news outlets simply don't have the resources to reach. And we report on the emerging life of new Churches in old lands where being a Catholic can at times be very dangerous.

With dwindling support from funding partners in Europe and the USA, we need to call on the support of those who benefit from our work.

Click here to find out the ways you can support UCA News. You can make a difference for as little as US$5...
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Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution
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