Author: Trishala Hirachan

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Laptop Program launched in Doti

School Survey

July 2017 | Doti

The onsite survey for the selection of schools was conducted by two teams each consisting  two members, between the second and third week of July. Before conducting school survey, OLE Nepal in cooperation with District Education Office (DEO)  Food for Education (FFE) of Doti launched a call for applications from the schools. The application forms were provided to the schools through resource centers and FFE’s food distribution units.

Applications were accepted over a period of a month. A total 32 number of schools  which are the part of FFE program applied for the program.

The team first shortlisted 22 potential schools based on the criteria that was developed with Doti DEO office in consultation with officials. During the school visits, the team assessed the physical infrastructure of the school, commitment of the teacher towards the program, and community involvement in the school activities.

After the school visits, the team discussed the findings and convened at Doti DEO office to make the final selection of 15 schools. Chief District Education Officer Mr. Aananta Paudel, FFE unit chief Mr. Rabindra Bhandari, Head Sub office WFP Mr. Rabindra Chand, and other DEO officials were present at the meeting. We would like to thank Doti DEO and FFE’s officials for their close cooperation in the process of schools selection.

The following list refers to the 15 selected schools for the laptop program.

SN Name of School Location Gaunpalika/ Nagarpalika
1 Sautimandu Basic School Sukati – 7 Bogatan
2 Gurudev Basic School Damuli -7 Bogatan
3 Nawadurga Basic School Dauda – 4 Bogatan
4 Betaleshowar Basic School Jajala – 4 Bogatan
5 Mahunyal Basic School Dumari -5 Bogatan
6 Sitaram Basic School Dalla – 3 KI Singh
7 Gangardev Basic School Basarkot – 3 KI Singh
8 Krishana Nagar Basic School Barpata – 11 Shikhar Nagarpalika
9 Akandajyoti Basic School Amdora -11 Shikhar Nagarpalika
10 Kalika Basic School Kimadi -11 Shikhar Nagarpalika
11 Kalika Basic School Khulek – 2 Dipayal Silgadhi Nagarpalika
12 Kaladhunga Basic School Basai – 2 Sayal
13 Bhawani Acquire Basic School Panikhal – 3 Sayal
14 Deiukhola Basic School Biralkada – 6 Sayal
15 Bhairab Basic School Vadisen – 5 Adharsha

Preparation for laptop deployment

July 2017 | Lalitpur

Laptops for Doti program arrived on June 20. After the arrival of laptops, our technical team conducted round of testing. These laptops were first, quickly checked and tested to ensure that they were in working condition. They then installed the localized operating system on all laptops and loaded various digital learning content including the E-Paath activities. After the completion of testing and installation of the digital content, all the laptops were packed carefully for shipping to Doti. The laptops were delivered by transport service via road to Silgadi and then handed over to school teachers.

The procurement of equipment for the program schools in Doti was completed in the month of July. The equipment included server (digital library), switch, routers, network cables, powerstrips and other accessories. Our technical team configured the servers and loaded the digital library repository containing more than 7,500 number of a textbook, audio books, audio video materials, Wikipedia and other educational related material.

The power requirement at the schools in Doti was finalized following the schools survey in the month of July, and the installation of power backup system was carried out between August and September.

For proper classroom infrastructure setup, specially designed laptop desks and benches for all 15 schools in Dot were built. A total 116 sets of desks and benches were manufactured for the E-Paati-laptop rooms at the schools. These desks and benches were designed to enable laptop-integrated classes and are suitable for primary school students. Each set of desk and bench will seat up to 3 students, and the desks have slots to put laptops when not being used. The furniture was transported to Dipayal and then handed over to focal persons from the schools. Those schools that are far from road had to arrange separate local porters to carry it to their schools.


Orientation for schools and communities

August 2017 | Doti

After the selection of 15 schools, the first task was to orient the teachers and different stakeholders about the program. OLE Nepal conducted an orientation program for the teachers and parents of 15 selected schools on August 10 and 18 for 5 schools (Bogatan cluster) and 10 schools (KI Singh- Sikhar and Adarsha- Sayal, Dipayal-Silgadi cluster) respectively, in Doti. 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) between the schools and OLE Nepal. Three participants from each school; a representative from teacher, school management committee (SMC), and parent teacher association (PTA) were invited to participate the program.

After the brief description of the program roles and responsibilities of both parties, a discussion was held regarding the provision of MoU. The program was effective as it provided an opportunity for both parties to discuss the possible roles and responsibilities of both parties before and during the implementation of program. The program was equally beneficial for clearing confusions regarding the program.

Mr. Ananta Kumar Paudel, District Education Officer along with other officials of Doti District Education Office were present at the program. Mr Rabindra Chand and Rojina Karki representing WFP Sub Office were also present at the program.


Teacher training

August 2017 | Doti

Our team of four trainers and two technical staff from OLE Nepal successfully conducted seven days’ intensive training for the teachers of fifteen primary school in Doti. During the training, teachers were given an in-depth idea about the combination of theory and practice on teaching through the laptops. The training focused on the ways and methods of effective integration of digital learning resources and textbooks in the classroom. As the use of computers was new to most of the teachers in the training, they were given basic training about the computers. This includes the basic introduction of parts and figures of the computer such as keyboard, screen, keypad, cables, speakers, etc.

After familiarizing the basics about the computer, teachers were introduced to E-Paath and E-Pustakalaya. They were given a comprehensive knowledge about the E-Paath, our national curriculum based interactive digital learning resources and E-Pustakalaya. They were also given ample time to explore and practice on E-Paath and resources available in E-Pustakalaya. Teachers were also trained on how to effectively integrate these learning resources in their classrooms.

Different sessions dedicated to educational philosophies and child learning theory were also included during the training. These sessions were very helpful for the teachers to understand about the different teaching practices and ways children learn. Besides that, the teachers were also informed about the importance and techniques for effective classroom management. Different aspects of management, such as job chart preparation, rules and routine preparation for E-Paati integrated classroom teaching were discussed and practiced.

The training which was conducted from August 11 to 25 were divided in three groups covering five schools in each group at Silgadhi, Doti. The first training included teachers from five schools and the second training was conducted in parallel sessions, covering teachers from ten schools (two groups). Altogether 65 (24 female and 41 male) teachers and 8 resource persons participated in the training.

The training which was held right before the program launch at the schools included presentations, interactions, hands-on activities, practice teaching, and planning exercises to prepare teachers to successfully conduct technology-integrated classes.

Ms. Judy Phuong from WFP country office and Ms. Rozina Karki from WFP Sub Office (SO) also observed the second phase training.

After completing the initial training, the digital literacy program (laptop program) was formally launched in the presence of Mr. Ananta Kumar Paudel, Doti District Education Officer; Mr. Rabindra Chand, Head of WFP SO, Dipayal; and Mr. Rabindra Bhandari, Unit Chief FFE, Doti. The laptops were handed to head teachers following the successful completion of the 7-day long initial teacher training. Each school was provided with the number of laptops equivalent to maximum number of students in any class between grades 2 and 5.


School network set-up in schools in Doti

September 2017 | Doti

Following the completion of teacher training, two teams from OLE Nepal, comprising of engineers and technical staff, traveled to program schools from September 7 to 18, to set up the local intranet, and connect the school server to all laptops. During the visit, the team also checked the solar power systems that were installed by Gham Power to verify that they met the specifications and functional requirements. The team also oriented the teachers on basic operation and handling of the equipment such as solar batteries, inverters, solar panels and other related system in the respective program schools.


Baseline survey in Doti program schools

September 2017 | Doti

Baseline survey at fifteen schools in Doti was carried out from September 7 to 18 by our deployment team. The main purpose of the survey was to assess the student achievement before the introduction of the laptop program in the schools. Survey of students was based on the subject and grades. Around 12 to 15 sample students from grade 2 to 5 were chosen randomly for the survey in Nepali, English, science and maths subject. The result of this survey will be compared with midline survey, which will be conducted during the project period. 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 for statistical analysis. The results of this survey will be shared in the next reporting month.

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Nutrition Sensitive Literacy Pilot Project Update

OLE Nepal attended Project Stakeholder Meeting organized by World Vegetable Center (WVC)

July 26 | Lalitpur

OLE Nepal attended the stakeholder meeting organized by World Vegetable Center on July 26 at Hotel Summit, Sanepa, Lalitpur. The main objective of the meeting was to share the World Veg Center projects and their collaboration with WFP Nepal for the assessment of 3-Cash based School Meals Modalities combined with complementary Nutrition-Sensitive Literacy Education. The meeting aimed to obtain inputs from stakeholders regarding their study plans, methods and implementation plans. Along with WFP, World Veg Center, representative from NSL Technical Working Committee, and officials from Department of Education were present at the meeting.

After the brief presentation about the progress of School Meal Modality and Nutrition Sensitive Literacy Pilot Project by WFP, World Veg Center briefly shared their study design and the data collection plan. The assessment study will be carried out in both Bardiya and Sindhupalchowk district including KAP survey and Focused Group Discussion (FGD).

As OLE Nepal is a key partner for the implementation of NSL program and has conducted a KAP survey, we shared our experiences and challenges we faced while conducting the survey. One of the major challenges was the language barrier while conducting the survey in Bardiya. We shared our experiences of both benefits and risks of using teachers as translators during the survey. The other stakeholders attended the meeting also provided their inputs on the modality of study design.

On August 24, OLE Nepal’s Rabi Karmacharya met with WFP team and World Vegetable Center’s Rachana Manandhar to review the NSL impact study design materials prepared by World Vegetable. The meeting went over each of the evaluation tools and gave inputs and suggestions to make the study more effective and relevant.


Monitoring and support visit to NSL pilot schools in Bardiya and Sindhupalchowk

August – September 2017 | Bardiya and Sindhupalchowk

OLE Nepal team of two staff conducted monitoring and support visit to program schools, from August 7 to 16 in Bardiya, and from August 9 to September 13 in Sindhupalchowk. During the visits, the teams observed classes of teachers at each school and gave feedback on their performance regarding the use of NSL package/materials. Most schools had completed more than 90 percent of NSL course content and are committed to completing all the lessons by September 15, except for Grade 1. All the teachers appeared to be applying methods and techniques that were discussed during the training. The teachers shared that the colorful pictures in the work books were very helpful to relate to and teach the concept of nutrition and hygiene. The teachers also reported noticing some changes in behaviors of students related to hygiene and eating habit. They shared that students started to talk more about the importance of cleaning and benefits of eating locally available food instead of read-made food. The habit of cleaning hands before the meal, comes into more practice than before. Besides, the consumption of ready-made food, especially noodle for Khaja by their students has found considerable less. For example, according to the teachers, the number of noodles and other junk food packages scattered around their playground have been found noticeably low.

The team also discussed the challenges faced by the teachers while teaching NSL content in the classroom. One of the common challenges was with grade one students’ learning abilities. Since the grade one students have just started to learn basic alphabet concept, it was difficult for them to teach content shared in the workbook of that grade.

During the monitoring and support visit in program schools, our visiting team also distributed additional supplementary materials at the schools. They distributed ready-made charts of different kinds of vegetables and fruits, pocket chart, markers and chart papers and markers, and crayons. The team also briefly oriented the teachers on its purpose and use process. We hope that these additional materials will be supportive for further enhancing students’ learning abilities on NSL.

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Supporting laptop program schools in Baitadi

September 2017 | Baitadi

Our residents, Anjana Shrestha and Nisha Dahal, completed the third round of support to program schools in Baitadi. During their visit from August 2 to September 18, they spent 2- 3 days in each school supporting students and teachers on pedagogical and technical aspect of the program. Besides, they also conducted meeting with teachers and parents to discuss overall progress of program at the school. They further reiterate the roles of parents and teachers for the successful implementation of program.


Midline Survey in Baitadi program schools

September 2017 | Baitadi

Apart from the pedagogical and technical support, residents also conducted midline survey at program schools in Baitadi. This survey result will be compared with baseline survey which was conducted 12 months ago, before the launch of the program at the schools. The survey aims to compare and measure the impact of the program on students and schools. The survey was based on the students (12-15) from grade 3 to 5 on maths, science and English subjects. The same questions that was applied during the baseline was used in the survey. Currently, our team is in process of data entry for the statistical analysis. The comparison of survey results will be shared on next monthly report.

 

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Digital Library Training in Palpa

September 2017 | Palpa

OLE Nepal has successfully completed E-Pustakalaya digital library installations at Shree Janata Model Secondary School (JVT) and Dhawal Pustakalaya in Tansen, Palpa and training for teachers and librarians from August 27 till September 2, 2017. The program was carried out in partnership with Rotary Club of Kathmandu Mid-Town with local coordination of Rotary Club of Palpa. The training program conducted at JVT School was attended by a total of 34 teachers from the school and 5 library staff from Dhawal Pustakalaya. The objective of the training was to develop teachers’ skills and confidence in integrating technology and digital learning resources in classroom lessons.

Our technical team visited Dhawal library to set up a computer lab with Raspberry Pi, a tiny and affordable computer which plugs into display, keyboard and other peripheral devices. We deployed 10 Raspberry Pi computers assembled with micro SD cards, headphones, keyboards, mouses and monitors. We also made a local area network with E-Pustakalaya server connected with a wifi router. Batteries and inverter were installed by the local vendor to solve the problem of power cut.

 

The next day, the team visited JVT School, Tansen Palpa to set up the local network where the training was conducted. 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. We have received positive feedbacks from the activities during training and the participants achieved their expectations that will encourage them to teach children in different and effective ways. Few participants didn’t even have any experience of using computer prior to the training, but were able find useful learning materials and were confident to demonstrate them in front of the classroom.

At the end of the program there was closing program in presence of training participant, principal of JVT school and a representative of Rotary Palpa. During the closing program the head teacher of JVT School discussed on integration of ICT in classroom and how training helped to foster the ease of effective teaching in classroom. He also promised to add more computers and build a offline digital library in a separate room. Lastly, he thanked Rotary clubs and OLE Nepal for providing offline E-Pustakalaya.

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NSL Update

OLE Nepal is implementing the Nutrition Sensitive Literacy (NSL) pilot project in 21 schools in Sindhupalchowk and 9 schools in Bardiya districts in partnership with World Food Programme (WFP) Nepal office, the Ministry of Education and its line agencies including the Department of Education (DoE), the Curriculum Development Center (CDC), the National Center for Educational Development (NCED), and the Food for Education Project (FFEP). The pilot project implementation is being guided by the Technical Working Committee (TWC) comprising of representatives from the above organizations and agencies.

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.

As part of the project, OLE Nepal has designed and developed 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. Teaching guidelines were prepared to help teachers use the workbooks in classrooms. The content was then reviewed by the Curriculum Development Center (CDC).

The NSL content and training package were tested in 5 of the 21 schools in Sindhupalchowk to learn the suitability of the NSL content, and to find out if the training package sufficiently prepares the teachers to apply the content in the classrooms. The test also provided insights into other practical challenges that may arise in the implementation of the program. After the test phase, the program was introduced in the remaining 25 schools in Sindhupalchowk and Bardiya with three-day training to early grade teachers, and the distribution of the workbooks and learning aids in the schools.


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Residents support schools in Baitadi

June 2017 | Baitadi

Our ‘Teaching with Technology’ Residents, Ms. Shikha Dhakal and Ms. Anjana Shrestha have completed second round support to 15 program schools in Baitadi. During their visit from May 2 to June 18, the residents spent 2-4 days in each school to assist teachers and students in integrating digital resources. Since the new academic year had just started, they assisted teachers to prepare the yearly plan for laptop integrated classes. The Residents also guided the teachers in preparing lesson plans, observed laptop integrated classes, and provided feedback to teachers.

The Residents have observed project school teachers using laptops to teach their students since the project was launched. They’ve reported improvements in program implementation by teachers. With regular practice, most have eased into integrated teaching-learning approach.

They were pleased to find that students had made significant progress in terms of use of laptops to learn through the educational materials loaded on them. They observed that the children were more confident in accessing the materials, and were more eager to ask questions than during their first visit to the schools. Teachers and parents shared that the laptops have helped develop better learning habits and have helped them to gain better local and global knowledge. Residents noticed that the students were more self-sufficient and passionate about using the technology in learning, and the positive impact was also apparent in the improved attendance in some of the schools.

Apart from pedagogical support, the Residents provided technical assistance related to the laptops, digital library servers and school network at the school. They also attended district level coordination meetings with World Food Program’s field staff and the School Meals Programme’s partner organizations. These periodic meetings are aimed to help partner organizations share regular program updates and find ways to collaborate among partners.

The third round of residents support will be continuing right after the first week of August, when the schools resume after the summer break.

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Gorkha Update

June 2017 | Gorkha

The construction of 4 primary schools destroyed by the April 2015 earthquake in Gorkha is nearing completion. Despite numerous recent setbacks caused by the local elections and the unseasonal rainfall, the project is scheduled to be completed by August 2017. Access to some of the schools located in the remote hills of the district was further obstructed after incessant made it impossible for transport vehicles to reach the construction sites.

Once the school buildings are ready, children of Olang, Khinpu, Hansapur and Simjung will be able to move out of their temporary tin sheds, and into these safe classrooms constructed by OLE Nepal with support from the AirAsia Foundation. OLE Nepal will also introduce laptop programs in these schools, and train all teachers on using digital learning materials to enhance their lessons and engage students in classrooms.

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Positive Results in Bajhang: Baseline-Midline Comparison of 20 schools

June 2017 | Bajhang

Background: OLE Nepal’s  laptop  program was introduced in 20 schools in Bajhang in September 2015 with the deployment of laptops and installation of network in the schools.  All the teachers from the schools participated in a three-stage training program designed to develop their skills and confidence in using technology in classrooms. In addition, two volunteers were placed at each school for a period of two months to support teachers.

In order to check the effectiveness of the program on student learning (specifically in mathematics, science and English subjects), we had conducted two sets of surveys, with the baseline survey done in September 2015 (before the introduction of digital resources and laptops at the schools), and the midline survey in February 2017 (one and a half year of program launch).

Methodology: The baseline survey was conducted amongst students from grade two to grade four of all 20 program schools. A group of 15 students in all three subjects from each grade were randomly picked to take the survey, and subgroup of 5 students for each subject. If there were less than 15 students in a class, all the students were equally divided into 3 groups. Students were allowed an hour to complete the survey questions that consisted of multiple choice questions. Students from younger grades were guided by the enumerator or the teachers. They read the questions to the students as they might have had problems in reading the instructions. They were also given examples on how to mark the answers of their choice from the set of multiple choice questions. The baseline survey was jointly administered by the respective school teachers and the OLE Nepal volunteers. Similarly, after one and half year, a midline survey with the same set of questions was conducted amongst students of the same grades. The midline survey was conducted by the respective school teachers and OLE Nepal field staff. In total, 583 students in baseline and 566 students in midline were surveyed from all 20 schools. Among them, around 47% were girls and 53% were boys. Altogether, 1149 surveys were taken by the students in all schools from grade 2 to grade 4.

Data analysis: There was varied number of students according to the grade and subjects. So, while dividing equal number of students in each subjects, we have excluded or minimized extra number of students in analysis were randomly done on the basis of serial number (not relevant with obtained marks). For instance, if surveyor took the test of 13 students, then there is difference in number for different subjects at that time. In such cases, we have excluded one person from analysis to balance equal number (4 students) in each subjects. There were 9 to 45 students chosen from each school depending on the total number of students.

The students for the midline survey were also picked randomly. Students were chosen randomly without looking at their performance level. Since the assessment of the baseline and midline was conducted by different persons with same/different students, it is unavoidable that certain degree of difference in student performance can be found. In order to assure manageability of the collected data, survey instruments used only multiple-choice items and did not include open-ended response items. All the tests papers were checked and scores were compiled for both the baseline and the midline surveys in excel sheets. These scores were then tabulated on excel, compared, and graphs were generated for easy comparisons. The following graphs show the comparison of average scores obtained by students in baseline and midline surveys.

Findings: In a grade and subject wise comparison, the average score of baseline survey was around 40-50 %, and the average score of midline survey was around 50-70%. Overall, there has been an increase of 16% in average scores. Some schools have made significant improvements (Mahadev Primary School’s average scores have gone up by 43%).

Conclusion: The comparison of baseline and midline survey results revealed that, students in 18 out of 20 schools have made significant improvement in English, science and math. Though we are aware that many factors contribute to the improvement in student learning, students were able to learn concepts at a pace that would not have been possible with the traditional way of learning. As the graphs indicates, student performances in all schools in three subjects have increased significantly and laptop program has had a positive effect on the student’s performance.

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E-Pustakalaya Training for Teachers

June 1-5, 2017 | Kailali

OLE Nepal successfully completed a five day (1st June – 5th June, 2017) E-Pustakalaya training and installation program for the teachers of Shree Seti Maiya Secondary School and Nepal Rastriya Secondary School of Kailali in partnership with World Vision International Nepal. The training program was conducted at Shree Seti Maiya Secondary School, Jhunga and a total of 20 teachers from both schools participated in the training. The training program was designed to introduce teachers to contents of the offline digital library, and to develop teacher’s aptitude to find relevant content that they can include in their lessons. 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. Teachers were introduced to various networking equipments and had hands on practice in network setup and local area networking.

OLE Nepal’s technical team also installed offline digital library servers in the two schools and set up the local school network to allow all computers and other devices in the area to have free and fast access to the thousands of educational content available in the E-Pustakalaya.

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June 8-10 2017 | Pokhara

OLE Nepal conducted a three-day E-Pustakalaya teacher training program at Pokhara on June 8-10 for teachers representing 21 schools in Kaski and Parbat districts. The training was organized by Good Neighbors International (GNI) Nepal and Naulo Ghumti Nepal (NGN) was designed to develop teachers’ skills and confidence to integrate digital learning content in classroom teaching learning process. In addition, the teachers were trained on technical skills regarding the school network.

GNI Nepal is planning to provide the offline E-Pustakalaya digital library servers to all 21 schools in these two districts.

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Preparation for Doti deployment 2017

June 21 2017 | Lalitpur

Laptops for our next deployment in Doti arrived at our office on June 20, and our team are currently busy testing them and load them with OLE Nepal’s localized content including the E-Paath before they are sent out to 15 primary schools in the far western district. The selection of program schools had been delayed due to the local elections, and will be completed by the end of July. Schools will be provided with specially designed furniture for the laptop room and power backup including solar panels, where needed, along with the laptops. All teachers will participate in a seven-day long initial training before the laptops arrive in the schools.

Laptops for Doti schools were made possible through the contributions of our supporters including our major partner, the Word Food Programme. Special thanks to Ram KC & Karen James, and the communities in Goshen and Middlebury, Indiana who have come together once again at the annual OLE Nepal benefit dinner to support access to quality education for children in remote parts of Nepal. We’d also like to thank Suruchi Jyoti for continuing to contribute to our laptop fund, as in previous years. This year, we salute Sushma KC for running 100 miles in Daytona, Florida on December 11, 2016 to campaign for better education, and raising funds towards the laptops.


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