Author: Trishala Hirachan

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Stakeholder Meeting for WFP’s School Meals Program

OLE Nepal participated in the Food for Education stakeholder sharing meeting organized by WFP Nepal on February 2 at Hotel Himalaya, Lalitpur. The main objectives of the meeting were to share the learning from the holistic meal program in Nepal, which brings together early reading interventions and digital learning materials, as well as WASH activities for awareness raising and improving education, child development, nutrition and health status of school students. Besides, the objectives were to share the key achievements and lessons learned from the last project cycle (2015-2017) and upcoming program direction and goals for new project cycle (2018-21).

Following the brief presentation by WFP, panel presentations were held under different thematic groups: School Meal as investment in Education, WASH in schools, and early grade reading. The panel presentations focused on the overall program activities; implementation procedures; key challenges; and achievements of its partner organizations’ programs that are implemented in coordination with WFP Nepal.

Mr. Rabi Karmacharya briefly presented the overall program activities and achievements of OLE Nepal from the last project cycle and program extension plan in Darchula in the year 2018. He mentioned that the program was directly able to increase learning opportunities through its quality learning resources at the schools and increase the students’ learning. Comparison of students’ annual learning outcomes in the baseline and midline survey showed that there has been significant improvement in students’ learning performance at the schools. Apart from this, he also shared that the program was able to mobilize community resources and local level government bodies for the sustainable implementation of program.

Similar program was also conducted for sub national level at Dhangadi on February 9. Stakeholders of School Meal Program from all 11 districts participated in the meeting. Mr. Tika Raj Karki from OLE Nepal presented the program activities conducted in Far-western districts in collaboration with WFP. Besides, he also highlighted the collaboration of organization with DoE at central level.

Overall, both the programs were good opportunity for all the stakeholders to discuss and act collaboratively to improve the holistic development of children at the schools.

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Raspberry Pi installation and training in Gulmi Schools

OLE Nepal has successfully completed offline E-Pustakalaya (digital library) installations and teacher’s training at Arjai Secondary School and Amarpur Omprasad Gautam Secondary School in Gulmi. The program was conducted at the schools, from January 29 to February 6, 2018. In addition, our team also set up the computer lab with Raspberry-Pi devices at Arjai Secondary School, Gulmi. and Janata Model Secondary School (JVT) in Tansen, Palpa. During the visit, our technical team also provided technical support to the Dhawal Pustakalaya in Tansen. The program was carried out in partnership with Rotary Club of Kathmandu Mid-Town with local coordination of Rotary Club of Palpa.

The objective of the training was to develop teachers’ skills and confidence in integrating technology and digital learning resources in classroom lessons. Teachers were introduced to contents of the offline digital library, and trained on integration of technology in classrooms. The training aimed to develop teacher’s aptitude to seek reference and include them in their lesson delivery. OLE Nepal’s trainers were also able to guide teachers on troubleshooting problems in technical, managerial and pedagogical aspects of E-Pustakalaya.

In Gulmi, all teachers attended the three day training session on E-Pustakalaya at each school. In Palpa, a one-day orientation about Raspberry-Pi machines and applications was conducted at the JVT School. The training program covered demonstration of and practice on E-Pustakalaya content, integration of digital contents in classroom activities, and setting up and troubleshooting offline E-Pustakalaya servers. Trainers received positive feedback from the activities during training and the participants achieved their expectations that will encourage them to teach children in different and effective ways. The teachers were enthusiastic to use Raspberry-Pi computers and the assistance it would deliver in teaching learning process. Although a few participants had no prior experience of using computer, they were able find useful learning materials and were confident to demonstrate them in front of the classroom by the end of the training. Overall, the teachers gained confidence on integrating digital learning materials in their course.

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Technical Support to old program schools in Bajhang, Doti, and Dadeldhura

December 2017 | Bajhang, Doti, and Dadeldhura

OLE Nepal’s two technical staff conducted technical support visits to old program schools in Doti, Dadeldhura and Bajhang.

The team visited a total of 6 schools in Doti and Dadeldhura, from December 13 to 21, 2017. They visited 2 schools (Saraswati Basic School, Chasi; Mahadev Basic School, Dukrala) in Doti and 4 schools (Jana Jyoti  Basic School, Hamtad; Selaling Basic School, Alital; Saraswati Basic School, and Janta Basic School, Koral) in Dadeldhura.

Following the technical support to old program schools in Doti and Dadeldhura, another team visited 27 program schools in Bajhang, from December 26, 2017 to January 10, 2018.

During the visits, they were able to conduct detailed hardware testing, digital content and library update, and school network/router setup. To help run the program smoothly, the team replaced damaged display screens on laptops, and provided laptop chargers and power strips where needed. Teachers took the opportunity to revisit skills learnt in training on how to fix minor issues like changing laptop display screens, installing content and troubleshooting.

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In-school Training at Doti

December 2017 | Doti

Three teams of trainers from OLE Nepal conducted in-school training for teachers of 13 program schools from December 25 to January 8. In-school training is the second stage of the three-stage teacher training program, which is normally conducted 4 to 6 months  after the program launch in the schools. The main objective of the training was to review the implementation practices and enhance the teachers’ confidence and skills regarding the laptop integrated teaching methodologies.

The teams visited all 13 schools to observe classes of teachers and give feedback and suggestions. The teams found that most of the teachers were successfully integrating E-Paati into their daily classes. In addition, teachers also reviewed the basic troubleshooting techniques on E-Paati. The team also checked the status of E-Paati, E-Pustakalaya server, school network and provided technical support depending upon the need of the schools.

The team also conducted community interaction meetings in all schools to understand their involvement and get feedback on the program. Representatives from the School Management Committee (SMC), Parent Teacher Association (PTA), newly elected local representative (representing school/ward) and other parents also attended the meetings, where the OLE’s team members discussed roles and responsibilities of community members for the successful implementation of program. It was found that all the schools have created maintenance fund. The funds will be used for future maintenance of equipment at the school.

 

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Nutrition Sensitive Literacy Pilot Project completed!

November & December 2017 | Bardiya and Sindhupalchowk

Post-test Survey

School-level program activities for the NSL Pilot Project concluded after the post-test survey was administered in all 30 schools during this quarter.

OLE Nepal’s team of four members conducted post-test in the schools of Bardiya from November 26 to 30, 2017. OLE Nepal had developed Pre/Post-test questionnaire, with the help from WFP and World Education. The main objective of Post-test was to find out the progress of the students’ nutrition and literacy level after the intervention of NSL program in the schools.

Post-test/endline survey in Sindhupalchowk was conducted between first and second week of December in two phases. The first phase included the 10 schools (December 3 – 6) in the Thulosirbuari cluster, whereas second phase included 11 schools ( December 10 – 15) in the Mahankal cluster.

The same questionnaire of pre-test was administered on the same respondents from grade 1 to 3, which was conducted in May 2017. The test ensured the equal participation of male and female students along with different competence level at the grades.  Altogether, 30 percent of total students from each grade, participated in the test from each school. Currently, we are in the process of obtaining data from the test. The data obtained from the two surveys will be compared and the detailed analysis will be shared in a separate report.

During the visit the team also handed over the additional supplementary materials at each school. This included the charts of vegetables, fruits, and pocket charts. Besides, we have also added the chart of the food pyramid, and grains and animal product.


Food and Nutrition Fair

OLE Nepal’s two staff participated the NSL Food and Nutrition Fair organized by WFP on November 18 at  Majdur Basic School, Dadabha, Bardiya; and on December 3 at Saraswati School in Mahankal VDC in Sindhupalchowk. The events were organized as an activity of School Meals Modality and Nutrition Sensitive Literacy Pilot Project which aims to raise the awareness to the respective stakeholders, regarding the importance of school meal in the context of nutrition program. The event comprised of several stalls that demonstrated the local agricultural products. Participants of the event included students and teachers of the pilot schools, food preparers involved in preparation of the school meals, parents of students and other community members, local government representative and local government agencies.

At both fairs, OLE Nepal demonstrated the workbooks from grade 1 to 3 at the assigned stalls. These workbooks were prepared in a collaboration with WFP for the enhancement of Nutrition Sensitive Literacy. We also conducted different games for students who visited the stall, such as word puzzle, crossword puzzle, bingo, coloring activity (different fruit items) that were based on the content of the workbooks. The students actively participated in the games. They were also rewarded with pencil and eraser on the successful completion of game and assigned tasks.

Along with students, other individuals also visited the stall and enquired about our workbooks and program activities at the schools. We explained that  the workbook content is arranged in a way that the child can learn about the nutrition along with an improvement of literacy.

Overall, the event was a good opportunity for the students, teachers and community members to know about the activities conducted by WFP regarding the School Meals Program and Nutrition Sensitive Literacy Pilot Project.

The NSL Pilot Project is part of the WFP’s School Meals Programme, which is supported by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), through the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition grant.

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Discussion at Curriculum Development Center

December 21, 2017 | Sanothimi

The content development team at OLE Nepal is currently working on creating E-Paath for Grade 1. On December 20, 2017, OLE Nepal’s content team met with Curriculum Officers at the Curriculum Development Centre (CDC) in Sanothimi. Attending the meeting from CDC were, Mr. Puspa Raj Dhakal, Deputy Director of CDC; Mr. Ramesh Ghimire, Curriculum Expert – English; Mr. Harish Pant, Curriculum Expert – Math; Mr. Yubraj Adhikari, Curriculum Expert – Math; Ms. Rajani Dhimal – Curriculum Expert – Nepali. The main objective of the meeting was to discuss and finalise the chapters and concepts shortlisted for development of E-Paath for Grade 1.

OLE Nepal’s Mr. Tikaraj Karki, Ms. Anjana Shrestha, Ms. Deepa Thapa, Mr. Kabindra Manandhar, and Mr. Niranjan Kunwar, participated in the meeting to share the selected chapters and concepts the team had prepared. At the meeting, each of the Curriculum Experts from OLE Nepal presented the list of chapters they had shortlisted. There were 15 chapters for each core subject (English, Math, Nepali and Science) that were selected for development E-Paath. Where feasible, some chapters were combined together. They explained their points of view and got important feedback from the CDC experts. This presentation and discussion session was important, as students build the foundation of their reading and writing skills in the first grade.

OLE Nepal works closely with the Department of Education in the content creation process, to ensure that the content to be developed are aligned with the learning objectives and fulfills the requirements listed in the curriculum. All content developed by OLE Nepal is approved by the Curriculum Development Center (CDC). The project for development of E-Paath for Grade 1 is supported by Good Neighbors International (GNI) Nepal.

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EdTech Conference | 10th Anniversary

November 8-10, 2017 | Kathmandu

Open Learning Exchange (OLE) Nepal hosted an international conference on “Shaping the Future of Learning” on November 8-10, 2017. The three-day event provided a platform for practitioners to share their experiences, lessons and challenges, and hold discussions with other groups, education experts, policymakers, teachers and learners to develop strategies to scale successful initiatives to help shape the future of learning in the world.

The conference was a key part of the 10th anniversary celebration of OLE Nepal, and was organised with the hope that the learnings from the discussions at the event will help all participants to develop strategies and partnerships to make quality education accessible to all children. A number of experts and practitioners traveled to Kathmandu to partake in the conference, and to share their lessons and challenges in providing technology-based solutions in classrooms. They brought rich experiences and knowledge in the field of innovative and effective use of technology in improving education quality and access.

At the opening session, Mr. Prithivi Pande — Chairperson of OLE Nepal, delivered the welcome remarks and briefly shared the history of how OLE Nepal started its journey 10 years ago with the Department of Education under the Ministry of Education, and partner organizations, to successfully introduce computers in public schools’ classrooms and transform learning with the help of interactive educational content and innovative technology.

Director General, Department of Education (DoE) — Mr. Baburam Poudel, also shared his views on the long-standing partnership between OLE Nepal and the DoE. He applauded the OLE Nepal’s approach to bring quality education to remote parts of the country.

The Keynote speech of the conference was delivered by Dr. Richard R. Rowe — CEO, OLE International, and Former Associate Dean, Harvard’s Graduate School of Education.

In his speech titled “The Future of Learning”, Dr. Rowe outlined his vision for the future of learning and the ways that will disrupt the traditional and current education systems. According to Dr. Rowe, “Learning will increasingly be personalized with each person’s learning pathway personally chosen and managed. From the earliest years, teachers will transition from deliverers of information to guides and coaches, empowering learners to take charge of their learning and their lives. Learning will become life-long, never ending for everyone, everywhere and all the time. Learning will be active, focused on values, knowledge and skills with a basic goal of enabling each person to experience personal power, purpose in what they are doing and meaningful connections with others.”

Executive Director of OLE Nepal — Mr. Rabi Karmacharya spoke about the vision of OLE Nepal and its journey in providing access to quality education to reduce the disparity in the education system across Nepal.

Chief Guest at the opening session, Mr. Madhu Prasad Regmi – Secretary of Ministry of Education spoke about the importance of the Ministry’s partnership with OLE Nepal and the necessity to recognize that the education system needs to prepare our students to be successful in the today’s fast changing global economy in this era of information technology. He also highlighted that the Ministry of Education has been working to promote the use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in schools through various initiatives.

Mr. Regmi highlighted that OLE Nepal played an important role in developing the ICT in Education Masterplan that was implemented from 2013 to 2017, which went beyond providing computer infrastructure and internet in schools, and emphasized the importance of localized digital content and human resource development as well as the use of technology to improve education management system. He added that ICT has been recognized as a crosscutting theme, in the new School Sector Development Plan (SSDP) that came into effect last year, in improving the equity, quality, efficiency and governance within our education system.

The three-day conference brought together government representatives, ICT in Education experts, local participants and individuals who have employed technology to improve education quality. Over 125 participants from Nepal and other countries participated in the program, including presenters from the US, Ghana, Rwanda, India and Kenya attended the conference.A combination of project site visits, presentation of case studies, discussions with teachers, supervisors, experts, enthusiasts and policymakers, the conference helped chart out a path to a wider adoption of technology-based learning methodologies in Nepal and elsewhere.

We would like to thank our major sponsors of the event — Nepal Investment Bank Ltd., UN World Food Programme, UNESCO Nepal, CIWEC Foundation, and One Laptop Per Child, for helping us organise this international conference. Presentations of the speakers and additional photos from the event are available in the event website ->  http://edtech.olenepal.org/

FULL REPORT

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Baitadi Refresher Training

November 2017 | Baitadi

Six trainers from OLE Nepal successfully conducted refresher training for the teachers of 15 program schools in Baitadi. The training was conducted in 3 parallel sessions on November, 13 – 16, 2017. Altogether 59 teachers were present in the refresher training. The teachers had previously participated in the  initial seven day training, and in-school training. Refresher training is the third of three-stage training program, developed for the teachers to deal with issues and challenges encountered while integrating digital resources in the classroom.

During the training, the teachers revisited the key concept and skills discussed in initial and in-school training. The focused was on pedagogical and technical aspect of program. On pedagogical part, the focus was on effective integration of digital resources available in the schools, while technical aspect covered basic troubleshooting shooting techniques such as updating laptops, operation of intranet and school server.

Apart from the regular sessions, the training also provided common platform for the teachers to discuss their practices and challenges encountered while implementing the program at the schools. All the schools/teachers were asked to list out the challenges encountered during the program. The challenges were collectively solved by trainers and teachers during the training.

The teachers also shared various positive changes that the program has brought on the students, teachers, and community level. One of the important changes that the program has brought on students was the increment of students’ annual learning outcome. During the training the trainers compared and presented the annual learning outcomes of schools from the last two years. There was 5-11 percent of annual increment in learning achievement of each school. Besides, the program also encourages to promote regular attendance of students in the class. The teachers also shared that they are largely benefitting from the resources available in the digital library.

The program received a good support from District Education Office (DEO) and District Coordination Office (DCO). Mr. Lal Singh Ter, District Education officer, and Khemraj Bista, Local Development Officer (LDO) were present during the opening and closing session of the training. Ms. Chandra Thapa, and Mr. Khusaldev Ghimire, Under Secretary at Department of Education also travelled to Baitadi to observe the training. Ms. Rozina Karki from WFP Sub office was also present during the opening session of the training.

The successful completion of refresher training concludes the three-stage teacher training program in Baitadi schools. We would like to thank to all the DEO and DCC officials for their close coordination during the training.

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EdTech Explores Digital Learning Potential

 November 11, 2017 10:43 AM Republica

KATHMANDU, Nov 11: A three-day conference titled ‘OLE Nepal: EdTech Conference 2017’organized by Open Learning Exchange Nepal came to an end on Friday with discussions on digital teaching and learning techniques practiced in six of the participating countries.

With ‘Shaping the Future of Learning’ as title, the event was held to commemorate 10th anniversary of the Ole Nepal. The event was attended by 70 participants including educationist, IT specialists, member of different government and non-government organizations.

Representatives from Ghana, Rwanda, Kenya, India, US and Nepal discussed use of information and communication technology for academic purposes and their state in their respective countries. Each day was divided into four session that included presentations and panel discussions on the same.

According to OLE Senior Manager Tika Raj Karki, the event concluded with discussion on how Nepal can localize learning techniques used in other developing countries for rural Nepal through game and activities.

“OLE has already reached 350 community schools of Nepal and distributed online and offline available digital learning materials free of cost to the students from Grade II to VIII. In future as well, we aim to expand the reach for children and distribute small computers like Raspberry PI for further teaching, learning experience,” Karki informed.

The conference was jointly inaugurated by chief guests for the event Ministry of Education Secretary Madhu Prasad Regmi, OLE Chairperson Prithivi Bahadur Pandey, Department of Education Director General Baburam Poudel and OLE International CEO Dr Richard ROWE at Annapurna Hotel, Durbarmarg.

http://www.myrepublica.com/news/30514/?categoryId=81

 

  • Posted on 14 Nov 2017
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‘Integrate ICT into education system’

Published: November 09, 2017

Kathmandu, November 8

Stakeholders, government bodies and organisations working to enhance the quality of education have stressed the need for integrating Information Communication Technology into classrooms.

Speaking at an interaction ‘Shaping the Future of Learning, Technology in Classrooms – Scaling Successful Practices’ organised by Open Learning Exchange Nepal here today, participants said teaching-learning activities could be effective only if theoretical education and practical knowledge went hand in hand.

Speaking at the programme, Chairperson of OLE Nepal Prithivi Bahadur Pande said they were on a mission to end disparities in the education system in Nepal. He said, “We want to see all  children in Nepal get quality education within 10 years.” OLE Nepal has been working to integrate technology into teaching-learning process in Nepal for the last 10 years.

Secretary at the Ministry of Education Madhu Prasad Regmi said, “Traditional teaching-learning methods should now be gradually replaced with an interactive learning process. This process must be backed by technology.”

Similarly, CEO of OLE International and Former Associate Dean of Harvard Graduate School of Education Richard R Rowe said, “The education system in developing countries are encouraging to tell us you are a failure. This has to change and students should be encouraged towards learning. ICT must be used as a tool of learning, it’s not the learning itself.”

OLE Nepal claims to have reached over half a million students, who it says are benefiting from its digital learning methods. It provides digital libraries, thousands of e-books and videos through its server to schools in the remote areas.

More than 6,000 students from the remote areas now have access to child-friendly XO laptops with inbuilt software that allows students from Grade II to VIII to learn about their courses using latest technology. The courses prescribed by the Curriculum Development Centre are redesigned to make them more user-friendly and provide practical knowledge about the subject.


A version of this article appears in print on November 09, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.

‘Integrate ICT into education system’


Call for integrating ICT into classrooms

Kathmandu, November 10

Education experts have stressed on  enhancing the quality of education by integrating information technology into classrooms.

At a programme organised here today to mark 10th anniversary of Open Learning Exchange Nepal, speakers expressed their belief that technology can help address the twin problems of quality and disparity in Nepal’s education system. They also urged the Ministry of Education to effectively implement projects related to the use of technology in classrooms and learn about the practical challenges in transforming education.

Addressing the function, Director General of Department of Education Baburam Poudel said that OLE Nepal had made significant contribution to enhancing quality of education in public schools. Open Learning Exchange Nepal’s Chairman Prithivi Pande said OLE Nepal partnered with the Department of Education to launch laptop-based integrated learning initiative in 2008.  He also said that  the programme would be expanded to more schools in the days ahead.

“OLE Nepal’s mission is to help address these problems through the integration of ICT into daily classroom teaching-learning process,” he said.


A version of this article appears in print on November 11, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.

Call for integrating ICT into classrooms

 

 

  • Posted on 14 Nov 2017
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