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Pakistani students struggle for free internet

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

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)

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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