July 26, 2016 | Kathmandu
Mr. Rabi Karmacharya, Executive Director of OLE Nepal participated in the Mangalbaarey Discussion at Martin Chautari on “Using ICT for learning in Nepali schools: Prospects and Challenges” held on July 26, 2016. Martin Chautari is a Kathmandu-based research institute focusing on democracy, media and education, with cross-cutting themes of gender and social inclusion. At the program, presentations were made by Mr. Narayan Krishna Shrestha, Deputy Director of Department of Education, Nepal, followed by Mr. Karmacharya of OLE Nepal, Mr. Sushil Upreti of Brush-Up Online and Mr. Chandan Mishra, a student at NYU.
Deputy Director Shrestha spoke about Nepal's ICT policy provisions and programs in the education sector with respect to enhancing the integration of ICT in public education and service delivery. He highlighted the government's directives on reducing the digital divide, and their efforts to change the school management system from paper-based system to an electronic, GIS-based system. He provided an overview of the budget allocations in the past few years to promote the use of ICT in education. He praised OLE Nepal’s pioneering work in the effective use of ICT in Nepal’s public schools, and added that Mr. Karmacharya played a significant role in developing the Government's ICT in Education Master Plan.
Next, Mr. Karmacharya discussed about the challenges faced by OLE Nepal during a decade long experience in the implementation of the program to introduce students to interactive digital learning materials using ICT in classrooms. So far, OLE Nepal has designed and developed CDC-approved curriculum-based interactive digital modules (E-Paath) from Grade 2-8, in partnership with Government of Nepal's Department of Education, UN World Food Programme, Finnish Embassy's Funds for Local Cooperation and other development partners. OLE Nepal also maintains a free online and offline digital library (E-Pustakalaya) with thousands of books, course materials, magazines, audio-visuals, learning software and many more educational materials.
In his presentation, Mr. Karmacharya highlighted that the challenges in ICT integration, especially in the public education system, could be seen in these different areas: technical limitations, financial constraints, training of teachers, and, administrative and behavioral challenges. He emphasized there has to be a level of cooperation between parties who are working in the field of ICT in education and also that a holistic approach is needed to overcome challenges in the overall teaching-learning process.
Mr. Upreti spoke about his teaching experiences using free online tools for management of assignments and video-based computer lessons for Grade 9 & 10. He also shared that these tools provide an effective and efficient platform for students to receive and submit assignments and for teachers to receive the same and deliver grades. Mr. Mishra shared his personal experiences and successes on the use of tutorial videos, which inspired him to start his own project of making instructional videos in Nepali language to enable students to learn at their own pace.