Author: Trishala Hirachan

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SWC Monitoring Visit to Project Schools in Far West

April 1-7, 2017 | Bajhang & Baitadi

The Program monitoring team from the Social Welfare Council (SWC) of Nepal, comprising of Mr. Om Prakash Lamichhane, team leader and M&E consultant; Ms. Indra Lamsal, Social Welfare Council; and Mr. Laxman Basyal, Ministry of Education, visited project schools in Bajhang and Baitadi on April 1-7, 2017. The main objective of the visit was to monitor the program activities in the districts and to check whether the implemented activities were aligned with the agreement that was signed between the SWC and OLE Nepal. Mr. Tika Raj Karki, Senior Manager from OLE Nepal, accompanied the SWC team during the visit.

The team visited 3 schools in Bajhang: Adarsha Primary School, Wasti, Kalika Bhairav Primary School, Regam, and Mahadev Primary School, Raikushi; and 3 schools in Baitadi: Bureswor Primary School, Dolyamod, Janachetana Primary School, and Saraswati Primary School, Melauli. At the schools, they observed laptop-integrated classes, interacted with teachers, students and community members, and discussed the effectiveness, relevance and impact of the laptop program.

The team also held meetings at the District Education Office and District Development Committee in both districts to better understand their involvement in the program. The team was very impressed with the reach and depth of OLE Nepal’s programs in these remote schools, and expressed that the program should be replicated in more schools and districts.


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Gorkha School Reconstruction Update

March 2017 | Gorkha

The construction of two of the four schools have been mostly completed, while construction works in other two schools are going on. The progress has so far been satisfactory, we plan to complete construction of all four schools by the end of May.

The School re-construction in progress.

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Residency Program in Baitadi

January 23- March 15 2017 | Baitadi

OLE Nepal launched it’s first ever Teaching with Technology Residency Program, to support 15 primary schools in Baitadi, that have started using digital learning materials in their classrooms. In 2013, OLE Nepal introduced a similar, but shorter, program in the schools in Bajhang, where by volunteers were deployed to provide for support to schools for a period of 3 months. This year, OLE took a different approach with the residency program, and extend the support to project schools for the duration of 1 year. We have selected two teaching residents, Ms. Anjana Shrestha and Ms. Shikha Dhakal, who just completed their first round of support to 15 program schools in Baitadi. The residents spent 2 months (January 23, 2017 – March 15, 2017) working with students, teachers and local communities at the schools to maximise the benefits of wide range of digital resources available through the laptop program.

Before heading to Baitadi, the residents completed a month long intensive training at OLE Nepal office regarding the pedagogical and technical aspects of the laptop program. Under the pedagogical aspect they were trained on E-Paati basic; how to prepare lesson plan for E-Paath integrated digital class; different component of classroom management such as job chart preparation, schedule preparation for E-Paati integrated class, ways, and techniques for effective use of E-Pustakalaya. In addition, residents were also given in-depth training on the technical aspect of program such as basic troubleshooting techniques on E-Paati, E-Pustakalaya (digital server) and school network.

During the first support visit, the residents travelled to each of the 15 schools, where they spent 3 – 5 days facilitating students and teachers to ensure the maximum benefit of digital resources available in the schools. The support included the pedagogical as well as technical assistance related to the program. On the pedagogical aspect, they helped teachers on lesson plan preparation to classroom management for effective use of digital learning resources in the classroom. Similarly, on the technical front, they fixed issues related to E-Paati/laptop and maintained the school network for the smooth running of the digital library. Along with assisting teachers and students, residents also organized interaction meeting in each school among the School Management Committee (SMC), Parent Teacher Association (PTA), and other stakeholders, to discuss their roles in the effective and successful implementation of the program.

Following their return, a debriefing meeting was held at OLE Nepal office. Residents shared their general experiences as well as specific observations of individual schools and teachers. The schools in Baitadi are successfully using the digital resources in the schools. Shikha Dhakal, one of our residents, is a former primary school teacher. As this was Shikha’s first time in Baitadi, we decided to interview her to learn more about her observations from a teacher’s perspective.


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OLE Nepal helping schools connect through e-library

March 15, 2017 23:10 PM Republica

KATHMANDU, March 15: A beautiful blend of curiosity and happiness radiates the faces of thousands of children when they turn on their mini laptops in the class. They carry their excitement all the way to school in order to learn new things through the laptops provided by Open Learning Exchange (OLE) Nepal.

Working in more than 225 schools in 34 districts across Nepal, OLE Nepal is a tech-friendly social benefit organization established in 2007. It has been working with the vision of reducing the disparity in access to quality learning resources across geography and schools through innovative application of technological tools.

Partnering with Government of Nepal’s Department of Education, it has launched laptop based integrated learning initiative in 2008 which has gradually expanded the project to many schools.

E-Paath, one of the major projects of OLE, is a multimedia-based digital program that can be used free of cost. It is a collection to education centered digital learning activities aligning with the national curricula. The interactive lesson is designed by a proficient team of designers, educators and programmers working together to engage students into fun, meaningful and tech-friendly learning. The lessons have been approved by the Curriculum Development Center of Nepal’s Ministry of Education partnering with the Department of Education.

OLE also has e-library, E-pustakalaya, which is the free web digital library service that is designed to places where internet access is geographically and financially challenging. E-pustakalaya provides access to thousands of e-books, educational videos, audio books and learning software for its users. It has provided trainings to the trainers and resource person to apply technology tools and digital content. Working together with teachers over a long period of time, it has contributed to boost the local capacity by gradually building skills and confidence to efficiently apply technologies in classrooms.

“Working in OLE Nepal has been a very rewarding experience. At OLE Nepal, we believe that the education system needs to be transformed to make learning more meaningful and engaging, and technology is the medium that allows young students to focus on their strengths and learn at their own pace,’’ says Trishala Hirachan, communications and outreach officer at OLE Nepal.

OLE Nepal is introducing the laptop program in fifteen new schools in Doti district and four new schools in Gorkha which were destroyed during the earthquake in 2015. The school buildings are being reconstructed with the initiation of OLE Nepal and financial support from AirAsia Foundation.

Laptop program in one of our project schools in Bajhang.


This article has been retrieved from Republica (tech and startup page)

  • Posted on 16 Mar 2017
  • In News
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Orientation at Doti DEO and DDC

Meeting and presentation at Doti DEO

March 10, 2017 | Doti

OLE Nepal is expanding the Laptop Program in Doti this year. The first step to launching the program was taken in this quarter. While the order for laptops were placed, our training team visited District Education Office (DEO) of Doti, on March 6, to meet with the officials and provide an overview of the program through a formal orientation program. Mr. Ananta Kumar Poudel, District Education Officer; Tej Bahadur Khatri, school supervisor; Nar Bahadur Shahi, Resource person; Mr. Sher Bahadur Dhungana, Director General (DG) School record office of Kathmandu; Mr. Kishan Raj Chiluwal, Deputy Director-Regional Education Directorate (RED), Dipayal; Mr. Moti Sharma, senior trainer, Education Training Center (ETC), Dipayal; and other DEO officials were present during the meeting. Mr. Phunzok Lama of UN WFP was also present at the orientation.

OLE Nepal’s Senior Manager, Mr. Tika Raj Karki, briefly presented the program details including goals, program components, school selection criteria, teacher training, monitoring and support activities to be carried out in the district. Ms. Kalpana Rimal from OLE, also gave presentation on E-Paath (digital content) and E-Pustakalaya (offline digital library). These demonstrations gave a clear understanding of  digital content to  the district officials.

Following the presentation, a discussion was held regarding the school selection procedure. It was decided that OLE Nepal will follow the same criteria that was proposed for selection of schools at Baitadi in 2016. OLE Nepal, in coordination with DEO (through resource centers) and Food for Education’s office (through FFE’s distribution unit), will send the application form to schools. Schools were asked to submit the applications before March 28, 2017. When the applications are collected, OLE Nepal and Doti DEO will narrow down the list of school before conducting school survey. OLE Nepal team also visited the Food for Education (FFE) office to inform the plan and points discussed in orientation program.


Meeting with Doti District Development Committee (DDC) officials

After the orientation program at Doti DEO, OLE Nepal’s team visited the Doti DDC to inform the officials about the program activities to be carried out in the district. After the brief orientation of program goals and activities to acting Local Development Officer (LDO), Mr. Ram Chandra Khatri and other DDC officials, an agreement was signed between Doti DDC and OLE Nepal regarding the program implementation in the district.

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Nutrition Sensitive Literacy (NSL) Pilot Project

About NSL

Nutrition Sensitive Literacy (NSL) is a pilot project that focuses on the development a nutrition sensitive literacy package to foster the literacy skills of children and provide a platform to increase knowledge of nutrition and health. The project will be piloted in 21 schools in Sindhupalchowk and 9 schools in Bardiya districts in partnership with WFP, Ministry of Education (MoE) and its line agencies including Department of Education (DoE), Curriculum Development Center (CDC), National Center for Educational Development (NCED), and Food for Education Project (FFEP). The schools have already been identified by WFP with the help of the respective District Education Offices (DEO).


OLE Nepal’s work in the project

Open Learning Exchange (OLE) Nepal has entered into a new partnership with World Food Programme (WFP) Nepal office. The NSL pilot project implementation will be guided by the Technical Working Committee (TWC) and the test package built on the inception report, the pre and post-test drafts, the student workbook and teacher guide, and the training program. Orientation meeting for NSL TWC was held on November 15, 2016, for discussions about the progress of nutrition sensitive literacy program and the observation and data collection strategy.

As part of the project, OLE Nepal is designing and developing a package to help early grade children to develop basic literacy skills while also gaining critical knowledge about food, nutrition, health and hygiene. The package includes teacher’s guide, student workbooks and other materials for classroom activities. The content team developed mini games and activities that could easily by incorporated in the workbook, while being mindful of the comprehension level of students in different grades. The graphics team designed new characters and illustrations that are attractive and interesting for young children. For the teachers, teaching guidelines were prepared to help them effectively use the workbooks in class. The document clearly outlines the learning objectives of each exercise in the workbook, which helps the teachers with their lesson plan. The content was then reviewed by the Curriculum Development Center (CDC).

The workbooks and teacher guidelines aim to improve the learning achievement of students, and nutrition through child-centered learning methods. After incorporating the feedback from CDC, the test package was printed for the test schools. The digital copies of the test workbooks to be deployed to 5 test schools in Sindhupalchowk have been uploaded to OLE’s digital library — E-Pustakalaya.


Meeting with Sindhupalchowk District Education Officer

January 2017 | Lalitpur

OLE Nepal’s Mr. Rabi Karmacharya and Mr. Tikaraj Karki held a meeting with Mr. Nirmal Kumar Ghimire, District Education Officer (DEO) of Sindhupalchowk on January 18, 2017 at OLE Nepal office to discuss about the NSL program implementing process. Since OLE Nepal is preparing to test NSL testing package in schools of Sindhupalchowk, the meeting focused on the selection of five schools. We agreed to select the schools which are more accessible, so that it will be easier for us to implement and monitor the  program. It was also agreed that OLE Nepal in co-operation with DEO Sindhupalchowk and WFP district office will finalize the list of five schools by early February.


Schools selection

February 2017 | Sindhupalchowk

In coordination with District Education Office (DEO) and WFP field office, Sindhupalchowk, OLE Nepal selected 5 schools on 10th February, 2017, to test NSL package (Workbooks, Flash cards and Teacher guidelines). These schools were selected according to the plan agreed on January 18 with DEO, Mr. Nirmal Kumar Ghimire.The schools were selected on the basis of accessibility and feasibility for the program implementation and monitoring.

After the selection of schools, the team including three members from OLE Nepal, DEO, Mr. Nirmal Kumar Ghimire and Mr. Rudra Sunar, WFP field staff visited the schools to inform them about the program and prepare the teachers. The 5 schools are Shree Ganesh Basic School, Shree Kali Devi Basic School, Shree B. P. Memorial Basic School, Shree Bagh Bhairab Basic School, and Shree Shuva Kanya Basic School. All the schools are located in Thulosirubari VDC in Sindhupalchowk.


NSL package testing in 5 schools in Sindhupalchowk

Training

February 17-19, 2017 | Sindhupalchowk

After the development of NSL package and selection of 5 test schools, OLE Nepal conducted 3-day teacher training program for the teachers of selected test schools. The training was conducted from February 17 to 19 at Jana Jagriti Higher Secondary School, Sangachowk, Sindhupalchowk. A total of 13 teachers (12 Female and 1 Male) who teach Nepali and Science subjects to grades 1, 2 and 3, participated in the training. The  training is designed to prepare the teachers to use the NSL materials effectively in the classroom. In addition, the training was equally helpful for the teachers to develop ways and techniques that promote children’s healthy eating habits and personal hygiene.

The teacher training program for Nutrition Sensitive Literacy Pilot Project was completed over a period of 3 days. Important aspects of curriculum and lesson planning were reviewed, followed by the pedagogical aspects of teaching and different learning styles of students. The teachers were then introduced to the workbooks and teacher guidelines. Best ways of delivering the teaching materials were also discussed. The trainers also engaged the teachers in various group activities like, poster/chart making, bingo games, storytelling/dramatization, poetry recitation, etc. all of which could be replicated in the classroom by the teachers as activities for students.

Teachers were also asked to practice on the workbook with respect to teaching guideline. The trainers also discussed nutrition, sources and types. On the last day of the training, all the participating schools prepared their action plan for the remainder of this academic year. This included the time division (schedule) of using workbook in grades 1-3. All the schools are committed to complete the use of workbook by the month of March.

The training gave teachers an overview of the NSL package, and the reasons behind the use of NSL materials, as well as the skills and approaches to implement them in their classrooms with the help of the workbooks.


Pre-test Survey at 5 schools

February 20-23 2017 | Sindhupalchowk

Before the students start using the NSL workbooks and activities, OLE Nepal’s field team conducted pre-test survey at the 5 schools in Thulosirubari, SIndhupalchowk. The main objective of the pre-test was to get a benchmark on the students’ nutrition and literacy level and compare it with post-test results once the NSL program is implemented in all the pilot schools. The test was conducted on a random sampling basis, which ensured equal participation of male and female students along with different competence levels from grade 1 to 3. Altogether, 30% of total students from each grade (1- 3) participated in the test from each school.


Monitoring visit to test schools

March 5-7 2017 | Sindhupalchowk

OLE Nepal’s field team, along with Mr. Dambar Bahadur Shrestha (resource person from the Sangachowk Resource Center in Sindhupalchowk), visited the five test schools from March 5 – 7, 2017. During the visit, the team observed classroom delivery by the trained teachers to check if provided teaching materials and resources are sufficient and appropriate. The team also supported teachers to effectively implement NSL program in classroom delivery and provided feedback based on observations.

It was observed that the student workbooks, that was designed for the NSL program, had become a good reference material to revise and practice for the upcoming exams. They were extremely fond of the colorful images and enjoyed completing the learning activities. Also, inspired by the training, teachers were seen using self-made teaching materials, including flash cards, charts and pictures. The field team also collected feedback regarding the NSL test package from the teachers and students.

As part of the NSL pilot project, the test schools have organised a Khana Mela (food festival) and a Nutrition awareness rally at the end of the school session.


Orientation at Bardiya

March 9-10, 2017 | Bardiya

OLE Nepal’s training team, Mr. Tikaraj Karki and Ms. Kalpana Rimal, visited Baridya in an effort to coordinate with Baridya DEO and DDC, and visit sample schools for the NSL pilot project. They were joined by WFP staff, Ms. Sharada Chaudhari.

At the Bardiya District Education Office, the team conducted an orientation session about the NSL pilot project. The Letter of Permission for program implementation was obtained from Bardiya DDC. The team then visited three schools at Bardiya, to speak with teachers about the school, their students, the NSL project, and its implementation. Team members also talked to students to check their level of learning and see if they will be able to understand the NSL workbook content.


Next Steps:

We are looking to launch the NSL pilot project in 30 schools (21 in Sindhupalchowk + 9 in Bardiya) for the new school session in the month of May.


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Laptop program going strong in Bajhang

February 10-27 2017 | Bajhang

Monitoring and technical support to all 20 phase III schools

In 2015, OLE Nepal introduced the laptop program to 20 additional schools in Bajhang, bringing the total number of program schools in Bajhang to 43. Two teams from OLE Nepal visited the 20 schools to provide technical support and conduct monitoring activities between February 10 and 27, 2017. During the visit the teams reviewed the program activities in the schools, and provided technical assistance regarding the laptops, equipment, school servers (digital library) and school network. The team was able to re-install E-Pustakalaya in the servers of schools and resolve technical issues that the teachers were facing. The monitoring and technical support visit was a success as all the laptops were updated with the rearranged E-Paath from 2 to 5 grades. The team also handed ‘Curriculum – E-Paath and text relation book’  to each 20 school. This book includes the list of the topic from both E-Paath and textbook which will be helpful for the teachers while integrating E-Paath and textbook in classroom teaching. Periodic reports were also collected from the schools. Apart from technical problems in few schools, all the schools are successfully using E-Paati in their classroom teaching learning process.


Midline Survey at 20 schools in Bajhang

Midline survey in 20 schools  was conducted also conducted at each school by the visiting teams. The main objective of the survey was to measure the impact of the program on students and schools. The survey results will be compared with the baseline survey which was conducted 14 months ago, before the launch of the program in the schools. An average of 12 students from each three to five grades were randomly selected and administered tests on maths, science and English subjects.


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Gorkha School Construction Update

January 2017 | Gorkha

The reconstruction of schools damaged by the April 2015 earthquake Gorkha is well underway, with wall-level construction already been completed at Sital Danda Primary School, Hamsapur. The groundbreaking ceremony there, took place on November 10, 2016. A traditional ceremony was performed by the local people, during the field visit by OLE Nepal’s Project Coordinator, Ganesh Ghimire, and Project Engineer, Ujjwal Marasini.

Here are some photographs of the work-in-progress at the project site of Sital Danda Primary School:

The wall level construction will start soon at Kalika Primary School in Simjung. Foundation construction at Olang Primary School, Kharibot has started since January 20, 2016.

With the construction going on as planned, OLE Nepal will launch the laptop program in April 2017. Gorkha School Reconstruction Project is supported by AirAsia Foundation.

 

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Interaction with the Ministry of Education

January 18, 2017 | Kathmandu

Open Learning Exchange (OLE) Nepal’s team led by Executive Director, Mr. Rabi Karmacharya and Senior Manager, Mr. Tikaraj Karki, held a meeting with officials of Nepal’s Department of Education (DoE) on Wednesday, January 18 at Kathmandu, regarding the organization’s work on promoting the use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in Education so far, and to discuss the way forward.

In the meeting, the officials were briefed about the curriculum-based interactive digital content — E-Paath, and free digital library — E-Pustakalaya, developed and maintained by OLE Nepal. The meeting, held in Gairidhara, Kathmandu, served as an official brief of OLE Nepal’s program to the new Secretary of MoE and the Directors of all 5 REDs. During the presentation by Mr. Karki of OLE Nepal, the officials were updated about the organization’s previous and current projects. Participants included:

SN Name Designation Agency
1 Mr. Shanta Bahadur Shrestha Secretary Ministry of Education
2 Mr. Babu Ram Poudel Director General Department of Education
3 Ms. Dev Kumari Guragai Executive Director National Centre for Education Development (NCED)
4 Mr. Krishna Prasad Kapri Executive Director Curriculum Development Centre (CDC)
5 Mr. Ana Prasad Neupane Director Education Management Division
6 Mr. Dinesh Shrestha Director Central Region Education Directorate
7 Mr. Bishnu Prasad Adhikari Director Western Region Education Directorate
8 Mr. Keshav Prasad Dahal Director Eastern Region Education Directorate
9 Mr. Dharma Jeet Shahi Director Mid-Western Region Education Directorate
10 Mr. Lal Jung Chauhan Director Far-Western Region Education Directorate
11 Mr. Kesari Raman Neupane Deputy Director DoE’s I/NGO and Volunteer Coordination Section
12 Mr. Arjun Dhakal Section Officer Department of Education

 

OLE Nepal was founded in 2007 and launched its first laptop project in 2009 in partnership with the DoE, and also worked with Nepal’s Ministry of Education (MoE) to develop the ICT in Education Master Plan, which includes four major components —  infrastructure, connectivity, teaching learning materials and human resource development. Since its launch, OLE has developed over 600 modular interactive digital activities that are approved by the Curriculum Development Centre (CDC), and launched a free digital library with a growing collection of books, learning softwares, apps and audio-visual materials. To ensure that teachers are able to seamlessly integrate these digital learning materials, OLE Nepal has developed and delivered teacher training package with the approval of NCED. On the technology front, OLE has deployed over 5,000 energy efficient durable laptops for primary school students in the remote parts of Nepal, with the support of partners and donors. While the interactive digital content are currently being used in over 200 schools across 34 districts in Nepal, OLE Nepal is currently working towards nationwide distribution of the curriculum-based digital content (E-Paath) through the existing 1053 Resource Centers across Nepal.

The presentation by Mr. Karki was followed by a discussion session with the government officials. Secretary Shrestha stated that while efforts of the organisation in developing relevant curriculum-based content and digital library were commendable, he was concerned that the content was not more widely used. Shrestha was positive about the distribution and use of E-Paath in schools across the Nepal through the distribution of E-Paath software CDs. He added that, creating apps and using learning software, like E-Paath, on mobile devices and tablets would be beneficial for students in this day and age, when most students have access to such low-cost devices. Ms. Guragain of the NCED also added that, it would be beneficial to have the digital content (E-Paath) at the DoE offices to present to visiting teachers and school representatives. After the discussion session, the officials were provided with E-Paath software CDs.

The meeting was an important event in laying the groundwork for the large scale distribution of E-Paath content for grades 2-8. With all 5 Directors of the REDs briefed about the plan, OLE Nepal will prepare for the distribution and training of Resource Persons, when the final version of the software is ready to be distributed. Currently, grade 2-6 digital content is being reviewed and updated to new software platform. When the update is complete, OLE Nepal will prepare over 5300 CDs to be distributed to schools across Nepal through the Resource Centres under the different Regional Education Directorates.

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Technical support to schools in Dadeldhura

Our technical team visited 4 out of 5 program schools in Dadeldhura from December 23 to 25, 2016. The project was initiated in this district in 2009 with 3 schools and 2 more schools were added in 2011. OLE Nepal has deployed over 500 laptops to these 5 schools under the ‘one laptop per child’ model in Dadeldhura.

The technical team visited the 4 schools to update all laptops with the rearranged E-Paath content, check the network setup and update the digital library servers. Team members also demonstrated basic laptop troubleshooting techniques at the school.
During the visit, the team also discussed the possibility of the schools transitioning into the one laptop per child – ‘shared-model’ as many laptops are still in good condition.

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