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Laptop program launched in Darchula

September 2018 | Darchula

Arrival and preparation of laptops: OLE Nepal’s laptop program in Darchula was officially launched in the third quarter of 2018. The laptops for 15 program schools arrived on July 17, 2018. Our technical team conducted rounds of testing. These laptops were first quickly checked and tested for any physical damage. After that, the team installed localized operating system and loaded with OLE Nepal’s interactive digital learning content.

Teacher Training Program: After months of preparation, our training team conducted a seven-day initial training for 58 teachers from the 15 selected laptop program schools in Darchula. The training was held on August 12-18, 2018, and conducted by two teams of two teacher trainers and a technical support staff from OLE, in two parallel sessions. Altogether 58 teachers (30 Female and 28 Male) participated in the training. Four resource persons and one school supervisor also participated in the training. The training program included presentations, interactions, hands-on activities, practice teaching, and planning exercises to prepare teachers to successfully conduct technology-integrated classes. During the training, teachers were shown ways and methods for integrating available digital resources for the improvement of learning skills of students. Trainers focused on the content digital content and their direct relation with the curriculum. Bal-Pathmala contains numerous stories which are divided in three different levels. The level I contains simple and more pictorial stories whereas level II and III include comparatively more text as well as complex stories. We suggested the teachers to select these stories based on the level of their students and follow the techniques (such as repetition, teachers read aloud, students read aloud) to teach these lessons. Similarly, E-Paath in Nepali subject includes lessons with audio. These lessons are very helpful for improving students’ reading skill. The students can improve their reading skill at their own pace. We explained the procedures/techniques to the teachers to use such content.

Deployment of Laptops: After completing the training, two teams of one technical and one field staff from OLE Nepal travelled to program schools to set up the laptops in the schools. During the visit, the team also checked the solar and power backup systems that were installed in June 2018. Visiting teams briefed the teachers on basic operation and handling of the equipment such as solar batteries, inverters, solar panels and other related systems.

Baseline survey at Darchula schools: Baseline survey at fifteen schools in Darchula was conducted on August 20-29, 2018 by our deployment team. The main purpose of the survey was to assess the students’ learning achievement before the introduction of digital literacy program in the schools. Survey of student was based on the subjects and grades. Around 12 to 15 students from grade 2 to 4 were chosen randomly for the survey in English, science and maths subject. The result of this survey will be compared against the midline survey, which will be conducted a year after the introduction program in the school. This will help us to understand the impact of the program in the students and schools. We are currently in the process of data entry, collected from the survey. The results of this survey will be released together with the results of the midline survey in November, 2019.

Deploying digital library server at 15 schools in Darchula: Our field staff deployed the digital library server in all 15 schools in Darchula between the second and fourth week of September. Our initial plan to deploy the server in August was postponed due to the late delivery of servers by the supplier. The server model that we have been using to deploy the E-Pustakalaya was not available at the market, and had to request the supplier to import them. As soon as the servers arrived, our technical team tested and installed the necessary software and digital resources before sending them to the schools.

During the deployment, the field staff also conducted support to teachers and students in 15 schools. The support includes the basic orientation of local network system to run the E-Pustakalaya program and basic troubleshooting techniques. Besides, they further reiterated the techniques and methods that were discussed during the training to integrate digital resources available in the library.