=> KARACHI: Usman Ganny runs a small school in Gulist -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

=> KARACHI: Usman Ganny runs a small school in Gulist

KARACHI: Usman Ganny runs a small school in Gulistan-e-Jauhar but ensures that the school website is instantly updated on happenings around school.

“It is no use having a school website if it isn’t updated regularly. The Internet is a facility that must be availed by the masses to acquire minute-to-minute details,” he said.

Another school that regularly updates its website to facilitate parents and students is L’ecole for Advanced Studies. The school also has a good email database through which their programme coordinators can notify the students. “All undergraduate students are required to check their email every morning so that any change in schedule can be notified to them,” said Maheen, who coordinates their undergraduate programme.

Students at SZABIST are also required to check their email regularly for updates on events, courses and off-days as there are e-groups for all their programmes. Teachers and students are members and can easily share information from uploading presentations and sharing links to journals to cancelled and rescheduled classes. “It provides a decent enough alternate to a website that is hardly ever updated despite having a whole CS department,” said Faraz, who has just begun his undergraduate degree at SZABIST.

Websites for IBA, Greenwich University and Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture were found to be most up-to-date and that students at these colleges accessed the websites on a daily basis.

“There are so many things happening at Indus Valley all the time and with the extensive coursework we have, we can’t keep track of every event. That is why we appreciate that the website is in-house and can be accessed for any change. Class schedules, upcoming courses, exhibits, submissions, everything is available on our website,” said Uzma, a third-year graphic design student.

IBA also hosts an in-house webhosting server and makes good use of their website. Azhar, an employee at IBA, said that students accessed the website frequently for updates and to access the online library. “Students can access any department and get the particulars from a long history of assignments and mock exams,” he added.

While most colleges make use of either email or their websites, schools are not so well organized in the online department. Most schools claimed that the reason their websites were outdated was that they did not have access to the school’s webhosting agents.

“Our website has been under construction for a few months now so there we can’t access any information online unless it is from subsidiary websites that host posts and blogs from our students,” said a student council member of Karachi Grammar School.

According to the school administration, their website is taking so long because they are aiming to make it an online utility for KGS alumni worldwide. “The website will not only host news, circulars and other extracurricular activities but also provide a forum for previous, current and future Grammarians to interact with each other,” said administration member Mukhtar. He said that they had IT professionals on their team and also outsourced a multimedia firm for hosting their website.

Ayesha, a teacher at Links Primary School, said their website was focused on information regarding admissions and helping parents decide whether their school was the best choice for their children. “We deal with the younger lot more so the website does not need to be updated.”

However, students do have communities on online social networking websites such as Orkut or Facebook where they put up whatever information they have. “We even have our teachers on our Facebook group and they usually leave a post on the wall for students whenever there is something that has been changed,” said Fatima Nasim, a seventh-grader at Bay View Academy.

Some schools have managed to find an alternate to the Internet in order to communicate last minute occurrences. One such instance is Frobels International School, which relies on a very good parent teacher networking system.

“At the beginning of each school, teachers ask a number of parents to volunteer who are then delegated the task of informing other parents of any last minute changes in the following school day or other change in plans,” explained Uzma, a senior teacher at Frobels primary section.
Source: Daily Times
Date:1/23/2008