The learning experiences of Karachi based public school students during Covid-19 pandemic: A phenomenological study

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Philosophy in Education

First Supervisor/Advisor

Dr Meher Rizvi


Institute for Educational Development, Karachi


Knowledge, according to Locke, is constructed either through sensory or reflective experiences of an individual. The novel ways of knowledge construction and acquisition process is often triggered by uncertain events. These unpredictable events are also momentous in bringing to surface the existing gaps in planning better means of imparting knowledge in critical times such as these. This particular study was designed to explore the learning experiences of the middle grade public school students of Karachi, Pakistan. The course of the study was guided by a phenomenological qualitative paradigm. Whereas the findings were generated through the analysis of data obtained through semi-structured interviews and document review. The study spotted the impact of COVID-19 led challenges on students’ learning. For the marginalized group specifically, which was already experiencing poverty-led hurdles, the contextual shift from in-person instructions to the digital virtual one during the Pandemic further highlighted the divisions among learners during the execution of emergency response teaching. Yet, the study could spot all the phases through which the learners passed by during the COVID-19 crisis. It began from the vulnerability to exposure to epidemic-driven learning issues, from acceptance to adaptive plasticity. Moreover, the study also underscored the transition from over reliance and limited learning to self-directed lifelong learning journey. The study pinpoints the gravity of contributing factors like Education Ministries’ initiatives, schools; and teachers’ possible support, parents’/family’s, peers’ and tuition teachers’ maximum support, and other available technological resources for sustaining learning amid uncertainties. Since, the experiences of undergraduates and graduates during pandemic were recorded. However, no study was proposed to take into account the experiences of the middle graders in the Pakistani context. Therefore, the findings of this study would inform policymakers, curriculum designers, and teachers about the importance of reflection and piloting, before putting into practice any education policy or instructional planning.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library