Author: Trishala Hirachan

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Celebrating 12th National Library Day

September 1, 2019 | Kathmandu: 

This year for the National Library Day, our team participated in the activities organized by Nepal National Library and the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST), with groups and organizations that have been promoting the importance of libraries at the grassroots level. The week-long celebrations began on August 26, 2019 at an event organised by Dilliraman-Kalyani Regmi Memorial Library. As one of the guest speakers at the program, OLE Nepal’s Executive Director – Mr. Rabi Karmacharya presented the features of OLE Nepal’s free and open digital library, E-Pustakalaya. He also spoke about the existing coverage and on-going work to expand the usage of the offline e-library.

On August 29, 2019, our E-Pustakalaya team at OLE Nepal worked with the Community Child Development Library in Sanepa to organise a fun activity for children. This community center is a library that has been providing free service, especially to the underprivileged children. They took part in a competition based on the exercises of E-Paath, which is a set of subject and grade based interactive digital lessons and exercises developed by OLE Nepal. There were a total of 17 students from grades 1-7 who participated in the event. Each student was assigned the E-Paath exercises of the lessons that they had already learnt in their respective schools. The judgement was carried out on the basis of the total number of correct answers out of ten questions, as well as their ability to understand and use the digital content effectively. 

Photos from the E-Paath competition at the Community Child Development Library

The winners of the E-Paath competition were awarded the first, second and third positions on September 1st, 2019 at the closing ceremony of National Library Day 2076 that was organised by the MoEST at the Russian Culture Center in Kamalpokhari, Kathmandu. The Minister for Education, Science and Technology, Giriraj Mani Pokharel attended the event where he shared that the government is making preparations to set up well-equipped libraries at all local bodies with a view to promote reading culture in Nepal.

Felicitation of winners of E-Paath competition along with other guests on 12th National Library Day.

 

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New laptop program schools in Gorkha

Janasewa Basic School

Our training team conducted a four-day intensive teacher training program for four teachers from Janasewa Basic School at the OLE Nepal office on July 15-18, 2019. The teachers from the school traveled to Kathmandu from Dharche Rural Municipality in Gorkha to attend the training program. The training covered pedagogical and technical aspects of the laptop program, and was designed to enable teachers to seamlessly incorporate digital lessons in their daily teaching with laptops. All participants actively participated in the training and were able to conduct trail classes with their peers. 

The participants were eager to start using laptops to teach their school students.  At the end of the training program, 10 fully-loaded child-friendly laptops were handed over to the school teachers. The laptop program was launched in Janasewa Basic School in partnership with Chandra Gurung Conservation Foundation (CGCF).

Here are a few photos from the training program in Lalitpur:


Shree Dullav Secondary School

OLE Nepal in collaboration with Children of the Mountain (CoTM) completed seven-day initial training for primary and lower secondary teachers of Dullav Secondary School in Ghyampesal, Gorkha. A total of 13 teachers participated in the teacher training program that was conducted on August 22-28, 2019. During the opening ceremony,  Mr.Krishna Mani Baral, Country Director of CoTM, and Mr. Krishna Bahadur Baniya, Chairperson of School Management Committee were also present. The training program was conducted before and after regular school hours to avoid disruption of the school schedule.

The seven day training program covered everything from the basics on technical aspects to preparing lesson plans with digital lessons, as well as classroom management. The teachers also had practice teaching sessions during the training to help build their confidence. At the end of the training,  Ms. Ganga Devi Paneru (teacher) said, “We have learnt a lot within this short period of training. It provided us an opportunity to learn about integrating technology in the classroom. This training was different yet effective because it was all based on practice.”

Following the training program, our team installation of 21 laptops and a digital library server were set up in the laptop room of the school. Now, the students of Dullav Secondary School are able to access thousands of books, audio books, and educational videos, as well as learn using OLE Nepal’s interactive learning software.

Here are a few photos from the training program in Gorkha:

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MIT J-WEL pk-12 education innovation project update

Game Development Workshop by MIT J-WEL interns

As part of the MIT Abdul Latif Jameel World Education Lab grant in pk-12 education innovation, two MIT students arrived in Nepal for summer internship on game development at OLE Nepal in early June. Meghana Vemulapalli and Abishkar Chhetri worked together with OLE Nepal’s team on research and development in game-based learning. 

On July 9, 2019, they shared their findings on using games for learning through a fun and interactive workshop with the OLE Nepal team. The team members are quite excited about applying new approaches and ideas in developing new games for middle school math and science subjects. The workshop also included group-based game development activity, with teams creating and demonstrating their own paper prototype versions of learning games.

Here are some photos from the workshop:


Learning games prototype testing with end-users 

Our team of programmers and students from MIT have been working on developing new digital learning games for middle school math and science subjects that are now being prototyped and tested with students. They have been working on research and development of games for students from grades 6-8. 

On July 30, 2019, Meghana Vemulapalli, Regan Maharjan and Ravi Karki visited Gorakhnath Secondary School in Kirtipur (which is OLE Nepal’s pilot program schools for Raspberry Pi computers), for prototype and user testing of a game developed by them. By testing the game that was in the paper prototype stage, the team got the opportunity to interact directly with end-users and get feedback on any issues and identify the areas for improvement.

Here are some photos from the end-user testing at Kirtipur:

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Children’s story writing workshop for digital EGR

July 2019 | Lalitpur:

OLE Nepal organised a story-writing workshop to help bring original stories written by young adults for their digital early grade reading content. The workshop was conducted in partnership with Shikshya Foundation Nepal (SFN) and facilitated by Muna Gurung of KathaSatha. SFN had a total of their 16 sponsorship students from different parts of Nepal participate in the workshop. Students shared their own unique experiences over a period of five workshop sessions to discuss and write original children’s stories that will later be developed into learning content for early grade readers by OLE Nepal’s team of illustrators, designers and game developers. 

Here are photos from the workshop:

Photo Credit: Sagar Chhetri/Shikshya Foundation Nepal

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Refresher teacher training on robotic programming

July 2019 | Lalitpur:

A two-day refresher training on Robotic Programming with Artec Robots was held at Shree Yashodhara Boudha Secondary School, for 10 teachers from three schools from Lalitpur – Yashodhara, Jalapa and Hindu Vidyapeeth School in July 11-12, 2019, facilitated by mentors/technical team from OLE Nepal. This training program was a follow up to the Robotic Programming Training organized in March 2019 by KDDI Foundation (KDDI財団), with technical assistance from Miyagi University of Education, Miyagi, and in collaboration with Lalitpur Metropolitan City (LMC). 

The training aimed to promote an understanding of the programming logic and assist teachers to develop modules to integrate into the classroom, while focusing on fundamentals of robotic kits and their assembly. The 2-day refresher training was successful in bringing confidence in the teachers. The trainers noticed that teachers were very fascinated by the use of robots and they also discussed how to integrate it to their class. After a discussion, the consensus that the program would be integrated once a week for the selected student. The teachers demonstrated great enthusiasm during the training and we believe they will integrate it in their classes.

Here are a few photos from the training program at Yashodhara Boudha Secondary School:

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Updates on Jajarkot laptop program

June 2019 | Jajarkot

Orientation to selected 12 schools in Jajarkot:

The orientation program for different stakeholders from the selected schools in Jajarkot was conducted on May 16 and 17 respectively at Kalika Basic School, Jahar Gaun and Nalagad Municipality office. 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). Two participants from each school; a representative from teacher, head of School Management Committee (SMC) from respective schools were invited to participate in the program. Altogether 24 participants (12 Kuse Gaunpalika and 12 in Nalagad Municipality participated in the meeting. The Chairman of Nagarpalika along with the executive officer and other officials were present during the program. Krishna Thapa, WFP District Coordinator of Jajarkot also participated in one of the orientation meetings at Kuse Rural Municipality office. 

After a brief description of the program roles and responsibilities of both parties (OLE Nepal and schools), along with WFP a discussion was held regarding the provisions of the MoU. One of the issues raised by the participants was how to raise money to establish a fund to run the program. They discussed various ideas including collecting monthly contribution from parents and asking rural/municipality for funds. Few schools had already created the maintenance fund for the program. 

Possible areas of coordination with rural municipality in this program were also discussed. As there is a separate education unit headed by education officer in both offices, it was agreed that both Municipalities will mobilize their resources to monitor this program in their area. Prior to the MoU with schools, a separate MoU between OLE Nepal and both Kuse Rural Municipality and Nalagad Municipality was also signed. All parties discussed their possible roles and responsibilities before and during the implementation of the program.


Furniture for laptop rooms: 

In April 2019, our team selected the vendor to build furniture for all 12 schools in Jajarkot. Based on the number of students available at the school, a total 105 sets of specially designed desks and benches were manufactured for laptop program schools in Jajarkot. These desks and benches were designed to enable the laptop integrated class and suitable for primary school students. The desks have slot to put book and copy during the classroom use Each set of desk and bench will seat up to 3 students. 

After the furniture sets were ready in the second week of June, the transport company delivered the furniture to Jajarkot. Since schools that are far from the roads had to arrange local porters to carry the furniture to their schools from the nearest road.


Installation of solar panels and power backup system:

The installation of solar panels and power backup system in Jajarkot program schools was completed in the third week of June. These solar panels and power backup system were installed form the fund support of local government: Kuse Rural Municipality and Nalagad Municipality. According to previous agreements, both municipalities agreed to fund the installation of power system at all of the selected schools in their area. The two schools already have previously installed solar power system at the school.


Procure server, router, and other network related equipment for Jajarkot program:

We have procured server, router, and other network related equipment for Jajarkot program schools. These equipments were procured after reviewing the quotation sent by vendors. Our technical team has tested and loaded the digital library server with E-Pustakalaya content. These equipment will be sent along with the laptops to the schools.


Photos from Jajarkot:

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Raspberry Pi computers in new schools in Sindhuli and Sindhupalchowk

June 2019 | Sinduhli and Sindhupalchowk

OLE Nepal’s team of pedagogical and technical trainers completed teacher training program on technology integrated teaching-learning methodology for teachers from Shree Secondary School in Bajhe, Sindhuli, and Shree Kalikasharan Basic School, Sindhupalchowk. The teacher training program in Sindhuli was held on April 28 to May 2, 2019, and in Sindhupalchowk was held on June 14 to 18, 2019. The program was launched in partnership with Relief Nepal, Sindhuli and All Hands and Hearts (AHAH). After the devastating earthquake of April 2015, AHAH helped reconstruct safe classrooms for the students of Shree Secondary School and Shree Kalikasharan Basic School, among others. AHAH decided to introduce the e-learning program to more project schools after the positive response from the Shree Bachchhala Devi Secondary School in Nuwakot, which was launched in December 2018. 

All teachers from the schools participated in the five-day intensive training program. The objective of the training was to provide orientation to teachers on Raspberry Pi devices, and to develop teachers’ skills in integrating technology and digital learning resources in the classroom. The teacher training program focused on developing the teachers’ skills on the seamless integration of digital learning materials in daily classroom teaching. 

During the training, OLE Nepal helped set up the new computer labs in the schools, with 24 Raspberry Pi computers in Sindhuli and 16 Raspberry Pi computers in Sindhupalchowk, as well as E-Pustakalaya (offline digital library) server in each school. With access to computers, children can benefit from the use of technology in their learning process. Support and positive remarks from visiting local government officials were well received during the training program.

For additional on-site support, AHAH has helped recruit one resident for each school. Mr. Regan Bhandari and Mr. Chet Nath Lamsal have been trained at OLE Nepal office on Raspberry Pi, E-paath (National curriculum based digital interactive learning materials) and E-Pustakalaya (digital library). The residents also attended the teacher training program at the schools, and will go on to help teachers navigate through the first three months of the program launch. 

Altogether, 20 trainees participated in the training program that was held in the respective schools. The training in Sindhuli was facilitated by Ms. Kalpana Rimal and Mr. Tikaraj Karki, for pedagogical aspect and Mr. Diman Maharjan, for the technical aspects of the e-learning program. The training in Sindhupalchowk was facilitated by Ms. Kalpana Rimal and Mr. Shishir Pandey, for pedagogical aspect and Mr. Bikram Dhoju, for the technical aspects of the e-learning program.


Photos from the teacher training program:

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Supporting program schools in Gulmi, Palpa and Lalitpur

June 2019 | Gulmi and Palpa

OLE Nepal’s E-Pustakalaya Coordinator and Technical staff revisited three schools and a public library in Palpa and Gulmi districts, from June 10-18, 2019 to provide program support. In 2018, OLE Nepal in partnership with the Rotary Club of Kathmandu Mid-Town had setup Raspberry Pi computer labs and installed E-Pustakalaya at three schools and one public library in Palpa and Gulmi districts. Our team observed that the computer labs in all locations were in good condition. During the visit, the team updated the offline digital library (E-Pustakalaya) servers at the schools/library and also provided maintenance support where needed. The teachers and students were given an orientation on the newly updated content. It was great to see that Janata Vidyalaya of Tansen, Palpa had introduced daily routine for students to use E-Pustakalaya.

During the visit, the team also took the opportunity to meet with local authorities of the areas and demonstrate E-Paath and E-Pustakalaya to them. They discussed the state of education in the area and the relevance of digital resources to improve the quality of education in schools. 

Prior to the visit, our team had informed additional eight schools of Gulmi where we had previously installed E-Pustakalaya servers in 2012. The schools were asked to bring the servers to Tamghas and also attend the orientation program for better understanding of updated E-Paath and E-Pustakalaya content and its compatibility in older machines. The orientation program about E-Paath and E-Pustakalaya held in Adarsha Secondary School, Tamghas saw more participation from school teachers and representatives from the education field. The program was locally coordinated by CAN Gulmi. OLE’s team demonstrated the free and open digital learning contents and discussed its effective use in schools. A short technical briefing on installation of offline digital library server was also done. Altogether, 22 people attended the program.

Photos from Gulmi and Palpa | Rotary:


June 2019 | Lalitpur

In 2018, OLE Nepal had established Raspberry Pi computer labs with digital library (E-Pustakalaya) in 3 new schools in Lalitpur, in partnership with KDDI Foundation, Lalitpur Metropolitan City, and CITYNET. A total of 62 fully functioning Raspberry Pi computers were deployed to Jalapa School in Dhapakhel, Hindu Vidyapeeth School in Balkumari, and Yashodha Bauddha School in Thaina.

On June 2019, our team revisited the schools for monitoring and technical support. The visit was also a good opportunity to update the digital library servers as well as the computers with the updated content. After checking the systems, the team briefed the teachers about new updates in E-Paath and E-Pustakalaya. 

The team from OLE Nepal also met with teachers to get their feedback. The teachers reported that teaching with the use of computers and digital resources has helped students to widen their knowledge and promote effective learning. Teachers also shared that they are able to teach the students in an easy way through student centered learning methods, and have also developed their teaching knowledge and practice. New methodology has also grabbed students’ interest in learning, especially the students who were previously struggling. 

The team reported that most schools have been using the digital content on a regular basis.

Photos from Lalitpur | KDDI Foundation:

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Laptop program launched at 4 schools in Gorkha in partnership with AirAsia Foundation

May 2019 | Gorkha

Open Learning Exchange (OLE) Nepal, with support from AirAsia Foundation’s (AAF), launched the laptop program at four new schools in Ajirkot Rural Municipality, Gorkha. After the Gorkha earthquake of April 2015, the school building structures of Shree Sital Danda Basic School, Shree Kalike Basic School, Shree Bauddha Himali Basic School and Shree Olang Primary School, were completely destroyed. AAF launched a fundraising campaign ‘To Nepal with Love’ that raised enough funds to help rebuild 4 earthquake-safe schools for the children of Gorkha. After the reconstruction of school building was complete, OLE Nepal and AAF introduced additional support through laptop program to ensure better learning opportunities for the students. 

On April 30, 2019, the training team from OLE Nepal completed a four-day intensive teacher training on laptop integrated teaching learning. The training was conducted from April 30 to May 3, 2019 for teachers of all four schools. The main objective of the training was to provide orientation to teachers on the laptops and to equip them with skills to  integrate technology and digital learning resources in the classroom. 43 child-friendly laptops loaded with E-Paath and age-appropriate eBooks were deployed to the schools.

Teachers who were involved in the training had a range of teaching experience. Altogether, 16 trainees participated in the program. The program was held at Shree Sital Danda Basic School at Hansapur, Tutuwan. The training was facilitated by teacher trainers from OLE Nepal, Mr. Shishir Pandey and Mr. Ganesh Ghimire for pedagogical aspect of the e-learning program and Mr. Hem Shahi, for technical aspects of laptop program.

Following the training, the training team also visited all schools to help set up the laptop rooms and also meet with the parents and community members about the laptop program.


Photos from the training and school visit:

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Laptop program launched in Rupandehi

April 2019 | Rupandehi

Open Learning Exchange (OLE) Nepal in partnership with Soiya Mahila Swabalambi Sastha, Devdaha Rupandehi (SMSS) launched the laptop program at Shree Laxmi Basic School and Gyanjyoti Secondary School in Rupandehi district. The schools for the program were selected on the recommendation of Skoleliv i Nepal and SMSS.

On April 7, 2019, the training team from OLE Nepal completed a 5-day basic teacher training on laptop integrated teaching learning. The training was conducted from April 3 to 7, 2019 for teachers of the two schools of Rupandehi district. The main objective of the training was to provide orientation to teachers on the laptops and to equip them with skills to  integrate technology and digital learning resources in the classroom. 25 Child-friendly laptops loaded with E-Paath were deployed alongside local servers containing E-Pustakalaya.

The initial teacher training program was inaugurated by Mayor Hira K.C. and Deputy Mayor Vidhya Laxmi Gurung, where Mayor K.C. gave his remarks and appreciated the work of OLE Nepal, Skoleliv-i-Nepal and SMSS to introduce e-learning program in Devdaha Municipality. He also instructed all the teachers and school management committee to make the optimum use of digital content and laptops as teaching material for quality education. He further extended his commitment to make this program successful from the local government side. 

Teachers who were involved in the training had a range of teaching experience, from 1 month to 18 years. Altogether, 25 trainees participated in the program, where 6 were from Laxmi Basic School, 15 were from Gyanjyoti Secondary School, and 4 were staff from SMSS. The program was held at Gyanjyoti Secondary School at Bishalnagar, Rupandehi. The training was facilitated by teacher trainers from OLE Nepal, Ms. Kalpana Rimal, for pedagogical aspect of the e-learning program and Mr. Diman Maharjan, for technical aspects of the e-learning program.


Photos from the teacher training program:

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