Preparation for laptop deployment in Darchula
Orientation and Signing of Agreements with schools
Two teams from OLE Nepal conducted orientation program for different stakeholders of 15 selected program schools in Darchula. The main objective of the program was to discuss the basic preparation that the schools need to do before the launch of the program and sign the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the schools and OLE Nepal. Three participants from each school; a representative from teacher, head of school management committee (SMC), parent teacher association (PTA), and chairman of representing ward of the respective schools were invited to participate in the program.
All orientations conducted between April 4-8 were held at the rural municipality offices of respective program schools. The chairperson, executive officer and other officials of each rural municipality office were present during the program.
After a brief description of the program roles and responsibilities of both parties (OLE Nepal and schools), a discussion was held regarding the provisions of the MoU. We also discussed the possible areas of coordination with rural municipality in this program. After the recent change to federal structure, all the rural municipalities will have separate unit headed by education coordinator to look after education program activities in the area. We agreed that all the rural municipalities will mobilize their resources to monitor the program in their area. The authorities also agreed to provide funds to purchase solar panels for program schools. A separate MoU between OLE Nepal and respective rural municipality was also signed during the program.
Overall, the program was effective as it provided an opportunity for both parties to discuss their possible roles and responsibilities before and during the implementation of program.
Based on the number of students available at the school, a total 86 sets of specially designed desks and benches were manufactured for the laptop rooms in Darchula program schools. These desks and benches are designed to enable the laptop integrated class and suitable for primary school students. Each set of desk and bench will seat up to 3 students, and the desks have slots to put laptops when not being used.
The furniture sets were delivered to Darchula in trucks. As most of the schools in Darchula are located in off-road area, the furniture were dropped at convenient locations close to the respective schools, then local transportation was arranged to further take it the schools. A focal teacher from each school was assigned for the local level transport arrangements. Those schools that are far from the roads had to arrange local porters to carry the furniture to their schools.
Solar and Battery Back-up
The design and specification of solar and power backup system for program schools in Darchula was finalized in the second week of April. The design was based on the power requirement at the schools, which was calculated on the number of laptops (based on the number of students) to be provided at the schools. Out of 15 schools, one of the school is connected to national electricity grid, whereas 14 schools are connected with local hydro. Since the electricity from local hydro is not stable during rainy season, installing solar and backup power system in all 14 schools would ensure that the laptop program runs smoothly.
The installation of solar power and power backup system in the program schools were completed in June.