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Forty-three schools in Bajhang and counting...
OLE Nepal team comprising of trainers and volunteers stand for a group photo with the teachers.

OLE Nepal’s campaign to expand the access to quality education in remote far western region of Nepal took another successful step. Our team of six successfully concluded the survey of potential schools for our Phase III of the laptop program during February 23 to March 8, 2015. Altogether thirty-eight schools were surveyed which are part of the School Meal Program run by UN World Food Program in partnership with the Ministry of Education.

Each school was required to fill out a detailed survey questionnaire on how the school planned to sustain the laptop program beyond the initial few years, what steps they plan to take to ensure success of the program, and how they thought the program would benefit their students.

Along with the above mentioned components, commitment of schools towards child-friendly learning opportunities was also equally important. Apart from this, schools were also required to have basic infrastructure to carry forward the program with same determination and dedication as well as to have strong community support.

It is indeed good opportunity for our kids to make their teaching and learning process more creative and purposeful. As a SMC head, I would like to ensure that we will utilize all the possible resources for the sustainability of this program.

Nar Bahadur Kunwar, SMC, Danda Bagh Primary School, Pipalkot VDC, Bajhang.

Among the surveyed schools, twenty schools has been finalised in cooperation with District Education Office of Bajhang resulting in total of 43 schools with our laptop program. Following are the list of schools - We hope this program will bring positive impact in the quality of education and encourages students to explore their learning process.

Surveyed schools were located in different VDCs, such as Deulikot, Sunkuda, Rayal, Khiratadi, Banjh, Kafalseri, Pipalkot Dhamena, Bhatekhola, Melbesauna, Datola and Dangaji.

We only hear and talk about learning different things from the computer. I believe teaching and learning from computers will be extra special and more fun for both students and teachers. The first impact of this program will be on increasing students’ enrollment and their regular presence in the classroom.

Dinesh Kumar Singh, Teacher from Masta Primary School, Datola, Bajhang

Twenty new schools of Bajhang

Help us improve access to
Quality Education
We have a new Field Coordinator!

In order to better support our project schools in Bajhang, we have recently recruited Mr. Bhim Bahadur Dhami as field coordinator for the project district. Mr. Dhami will be mainly responsible for supporting schools and teachers to ensure proper implementation of laptop program in schools. To achieve this, he will be planning a thorough visits to all the program schools on regular basis. His major role will be to provide technical assistance and refer to OLE Nepal Office in case of complex problems. Apart from visiting schools, he will also carry out necessary official activities related to the program at the district level agencies and maintain regular contact with those agencies, giving them updates on our activities. These agencies include District Education Office, District Development Committee, Local Development Office, etc. Being a local resident of Bajhang district, he will also help OLE Nepal team during school surveys, deployments and trainings with extending support to program schools in adjoining Dadeldhura and Doti district.

Teachers exploring new ways of teaching
300 XO laptops deployed in thirteen schools

Our technical team deployed more than 300 XO laptops to thirteen schools, which were handed over to the respective schools helping teachers to integrate this new approach to teaching and learning without any delay. OLE Nepal volunteers spent approximately ten weeks at different schools, providing first-hand assistance to the teachers and students in integrating this teaching-learning process in their classrooms. Providing laptops subsequent to the training is a thoughtful plan as teachers were able to use the tools rightly and immediately without much challenges.

The laptops were distributed on shared model which meant that each school would receive the number of laptops equivalent to the largest number of students in grades two through five. The largest of the deployments was of 42 laptops. OLE Nepal also deployed desks and benches to the schools which were designed particularly to manage space for XO power adapter, allowing it to tie the power cords behind the desks for students’ safety and neatness of the classrooms.

Arrival of XO laptops and other technical equipments Arrival of XO laptops and other technical equipments

The team also provided support to few schools in Bajhang and Dadeldhura district following all deployments of phase II of the laptop program.

Teach, learn and explore as a volunteer

OLE Nepal initiated its volunteer program in collaboration with Maitri Trust Organization along with the commencement of laptop program in early 2014. So far, ten volunteers has been trained and located in program schools of Bajhang. This program not only aims to provide necessary support for the sustainability, but also gives young adults an opportunity to learn and experience the application of the technology to enhance primary education while gaining invaluable insights to the challenges faced by schools in remote areas. Volunteers spend ten weeks in the project schools subsequent to the basic training for the teachers to provide hands-on assistance on using technology in teaching-learning process and to guide students and teachers to utilize the resources made available to them. They also get to experience the natural and cultural beauty of this area.

It was great opportunity for multiple experiences; learn, teach, explore and trek with in a single platform.

Suman Adhikari - Bajhang Volunteer, 2015

Our third batch of volunteers consisting of Suman Adhikari, Ravindra Sah, Deepesh Thapa and Shambu Bhattarai got to experience the same through the volunteer program to support thirteen schools in Bajhang. After extensive training at OLE Nepal office regarding the technical and pedagogical aspects of the laptop program, volunteers traveled to Bajhang to provide hands-on assistance to the teachers and students of the respective schools. The main purpose of this program is to ensure maximum use of digital learning resources made available to schools and to assist teachers with technical issues they may encounter while integrating these resources in their classrooms.

From left : Deepesh Thapa , Suman Adhikari, Ravindra Sah, and Shambu Bhattarai

Volunteer program was an awesome opportunity for me to get real experiences. I believe it’s a good start for the change in education practice of this region, which has been deprived of quality education from a long time.

Deepesh Thapa.- Bajhang Volunteer, 2015

During their stay in Bajhang from January 8 to March 23, volunteers were divided in two groups. Depending upon the types of school and support required, they spent about ten to fifteen days in each school. Their support was mainly oriented towards three different areas:

  • Solving issues and queries brought by teachers regarding use of XO laptops and ICT integrated teaching-learning method

  • Highlighting the lesson plans and its necessity for effective integration in teaching which also includes record keeping of class notes and reference materials for future purposes.

  • Maximum use of the different activities and contents available in E-Pustakalaya which are helpful for both teachers and students for developing good learning habits.

OLE Nepal believes that volunteer program is an important aspect for the effective implementation of the program in such areas.

Come join our team !
Volunteer Program - A wonderful learning opportunity
Our team is looking to have energetic individuals on board to contribute in the laptop-based edu- cation program in public primary schools in the Bajhang district of far-western development re- gion. With the initial training at OLE and further deployment in Bajhang district, volunteers will get a unique opportunity to learn about the application of technology to enhance primary education while gaining invaluable insights to the challenges faced by schools in remote areas.

For more information on the volunteer program and the ways of getting involved with OLE, please log on to our website
A fascinating case of Surya Joshi

Surya Joshi , student of Bhawaneshwori Primary School.

Our third batch of volunteers have got interesting experiences to share with us on their stay in Bajhang. Volunteer Deepesh had spent ten days in Surya Joshi’s home where he had a chance to observe this little boy. We would like to further share a short story about a boy who is childish, naughty, talented and super confident all at the same time.

I could not understand him speaking but he got me. Nonetheless, I spent ten days with him. During those days, we did many things together, like playing, fooling around and learning together which was a funny struggle as I could hardly understand him. Surya is one of the five sons of Dharma Raj Joshi, who is the principal of Bhawaneshwori Primary School. It was not a surprise that he studied in same school. He was childish, naughty, talented and super confident all at the same time. However, he was a brilliant student, both in terms of his studies and in using XO laptops. During our volunteering phase at Bhawaneshwori school, we had stayed at Dharma sir’s house. This was a time when I got a chance to know him in his vicinity; his nature, his studies and his learning habits. Surya is nine, studies at class four and is the first boy among his fellow students. He has always been first since nursery. It had only been a week since his first encounter with XO laptop but his skill and cleverness helped him get the idea on using the tool very quickly. It was natural for students to grasp the knowledge on their own pace; some were able to get it soon and for others, it took sometime. In addition to being good at using his new educational tool, Surya was also equally motivated towards extra curricular activities, such as music, games, etc. In my observation, other students were quite passive in compare to his activeness and interest towards learning new things.

Teachers had not yet taught students on using E-Pustakalaya. Like other students, Surya also was not much aware about it. We volunteers travelled to another school after spending ten days at Surya’s house. In our return, we were stunned to see Surya excitedly and skillfully using the digital library. This boy was actually very smart and grasped things very quickly. He was very good at playing audio and video, opening and zooming books, downloading and reading, using activities like recording, music, games and many other contents of E-Pustakalaya. Seeing his enthusiasm, and his learning habits, I can say that he can learn new ideas from regular computers as well. These types of students are rare in Bajhang.

His father plans to send Surya to Attariya after the completion of his grade four. It gave Surya a great pleasure to know that his eldest brother living in Attariya owns a laptop. There, Surya will learn all basic knowledge about computer and its benefits. Surya’s father also plans to buy him a personal laptop so that his children knows basic knowledge about computer. If his father is able to fulfill this dream, Surya will definitely upgrade his knowledge from mini educational laptops to big laptops. His father’s main goal for him is to continue exploring laptops even after passing out from grade five. Surya’s father really wishes his son could continue his further studies in equally good school where he can get the extra knowledge about computers.

Surya had never seen laptop or computer before. He had only used simple mobile devices since his family owns a mobile gallery in Attariya. His first experience with computers is with XO. Now, within a very small period of time, he and his family broadened their perspective about study and lifestyle. They begin to feel that computer is essential in today’s life. “With the help of computer, Surya will be a successful person in future,” his father expressed his happiness . – Deepesh Thapa, Bajhang Volunteer, 2015

Surya's Daily Activities

A photo feature: While volunteering in Bajhang

Winter in Bajhang. Mesmerizing natural beauty.

Suman (standing on the left) assisting the team in conducting the basic training.

Dipesh (standing on far right corner) with the entire team of trainers and teach

Meeting with the school management committee regarding the active participation of the management, teachers and community for the sustainability of the laptop program.

Shambu (with the XO laptop) explaining government authority in using the laptop and the ways to integrate it within the teaching and learning process.

Ravindra engaging students in learning through playing.

Students making a human
logo of OLE Nepal.

Ravindra helping students learn English alphabets.

Volunteers with the teachers before heading to another school to provide assistance.

Biding good-bye to the family. During their stay in Bajhang, volunteer live with local families

Suman supervising a class conducted through XO laptops.

Four volunteers reuniting after completing their volunteer program.

An interview with District Education Officer, Bajhang on our laptop program

Open Learning Exchange Nepal (OLE Nepal) initiated its laptop program in Bajhang district in early 2014. So far, the program has been extended to twenty-three schools in co-operation with Bajhang District Education Office and UN World Food Program. A monumental achievement like this shows our long-standing efforts to reduce the disparity in access to quality education in rural Nepal. With active involvement of the three stakeholders, the schools and local communities are wholeheartedly committed to the new approach to teaching-learning for their children. OLE Nepal has been working closely with the District Education Office (DEO) of Bajhang to implement the program at schools. They are playing an active role in monitoring the program. With OLE Nepal’s plan to extend its reach to more schools in Bajhang, it is very important for us to understand the government’s perspective. Following (transcribed) interview was taken with the District Education Officer Mr. Moti Lal Sharma in Bajhang during the Basic Teacher training program for thirteen schools of phase II Bajhang Laptop Project.

How do you see the overall education scenario of Bajhang?

I will have to say, none of the children are left to be admitted in schools because of easy access to schools, but will not say that quality of education in Bajhang is high. There are 458 schools located inside Bajhang. However, if you analyze the number of teachers’ positions (Darbandi), very few schools have the required number of teachers equivalent to the positions available. We say that there should be one teacher for 40 students.

Mr. Moti Lal Sharma, District Education Officer, Bajhang Mr. Moti Lal Sharma, District Education Officer, Bajhang

In that case, 522 posts for teachers are vacant here only in the level of secondary and lower secondary level. Also, none of the thirteen higher secondary schools are able to receive any positions from the Government. Subject-wise teacher posts have also not been filled yet.

Regarding the education budget for Bajhang, this budget is seven cores less than the last year. More than 80 percent of this budget

will be spent on salary of teachers and remaining will be spent on improving physical infrastructure of the schools; very less budget is for quality of education. This year’s budget cut has been directly affecting in achieving our expected outcome. If I analyze last year’s SLC result, none of the students from four of the schools passed. Performances of 37 schools are below national average and 15 schools are below 15 percent. However, the number of male and female students’ participation and attendance is satisfactory. Thus, I do not think children in Bajhang are lacking access to education but are lacking access to quality education and schools itself lack quality. I think teachers are key to the quality of education. Until the teachers respect their jobs and update themselves along their profession, the education here will always lack quality.

Various agencies are working here for the improvement of quality of education. Organization such as, OLE Nepal, UNFPA, United Mission to Nepal and the Red Cross are running various programs. UN World Food Program is also implementing a school meal program. The government is running different programs for Teacher Professional Development (TPD) and Community Library Concept. Despite these various efforts, the pace of improvement in the quality of education is relatively slow. I think teachers play a major role in improving the quality of Education and if they want they can make different.

You raised two points: unavailability of teachers and programs such as teacher professional development (TPD). What are the various measures that are currently being implemented for TPD and for improvement in quality of education?

Regarding the teacher’s professional development (TPD), District Education Office has conducted various programs. Programs such as, English language training, curriculum dissemination training and coaching for SLC students are the major ones that government regularly focuses on. Apart from this, we are planning to organize trainings in near future which will incorporate sessions related to Information Communication Technology (ICT). Also, training for improvement of English language for teachers will also be conducted soon.

As you said, the involvement of community is also mentioned in the national policy. How can we make community more involved in schools to improve the quality of education?

The role of community, particularly School Management Committee (SMC) is clearly mentioned in our education policy. This is a good initiation for the quality improvement in public schools. The government has continuously supported these schools. However, most of the designated SMCs are not able to play their role as assigned. They still are under the impression that DEO should be taking this responsibility. What I am trying to relate here is that the SMC should be able to do their jobs right and simultaneously, reward the teachers who are doing their duties properly and be stern with those who aren’t. Many of the teachers are also involved with parties who fulfill their political agendas rather than focusing on teaching. Hence, SMC should take strict actions on them.

Unless the intellectual group (Baudik Jamaat) within the schools take proper initiatives to solve their problems themselves, organizational members like us who are not entirely involved in the day to day events of schools, any activities undertaken in the name of monitoring and supervision would not be effective to improve the quality of education.

Unless the intellectual group (Baudik Jamaat) within the schools take proper initiatives to solve their problems themselves, organizational members like us who are not entirely involved in the day to day events of schools, any activities undertaken in the name of monitoring and supervision would not be effective to improve the quality of education.

There has been various efforts made by the government regarding improvement of quality in education. One is the policy on ICT in Education. Can you share with us about the efforts made in this district on ICT in education so far?

Since the government has policy on ICT in education, there has been several efforts made from the side of government and other stakeholders. According to the plan, last year DEO office distributed computers in 108 schools in Bajhang. These computers were bought on matching fund basis, (i.e. if the school manages 60,000 from their side the government will add 140,000 to buy the computers for the school). Apart from this, OLE Nepal has been running its ICT in education program in twenty-three primary schools in the district. Last year, teachers from ten schools received basic and refresher training and this year teachers from thirteen more schools received basic training regarding how to integrate this digital resources in classrooms. However, due to various reasons the government’s ICT program in secondary level has not been a success yet. The unavailability of computer teachers and expensive internet connections remain hindering factors for its ineffectiveness.

You explained about the development of ICT in education in this district. Do you have any plans for its effective implementation in the district?

We are going to organize a TPD training in near future. This training will incorporate at least two session related to ICT. I hope these sorts of training will help to boost the confidence of teachers regarding the use of computer as well as integrating digital resources in daily teaching process. Also, DEO will encourage schools to have full time computer teacher through its program in coming days. It is always feasible to support schools in having at least one computer teacher.

As you mentioned, different foreign agencies are working for the improvement of quality in education here. Have you initiated any mechanism for monitoring and coordination across these agencies in the district?

It helps different agencies to coordinate their work if we adopt the one door system (Ek Dwar Pranali). I do not think different agencies

present here are running their program without coordination of DEO in the district. Their programs are implemented only after signing the MoU with Department of Education (DoE) in central level, Regional Education Directorate (RED) in regional level and DEO at district level. However, as different agencies are implementing their program in the district without targeting to certain resource centre or VDC, it is hard to get required output and outcomes in district level. Therefore, we have to monitor school-wise performance to analyze the impact of their program. Nonetheless, from our monitoring perspective, we have found that these programs have brought positive changes and have impacted positively for the improvement in education quality.

Do you have any plans to sustain their work in the future?

We definitely have plans to sustain such programs. However, what I would like to include is, unless the schools and communities take initiatives for sustaining such programs by themselves, the efforts made from DEO will not be very effective. Hence, the DEO will incorporate this in their annual strategy and implementation plan that encourages schools and communities to take ownership of such programs. To elaborate, we encourage the schools to make School Improvement Plan (SIP) which includes budgetary and non-budgetary programs.

Let us focus on OLE Nepal’s program in Bajhang district. OLE Nepal is currently implementing its program in 23 primary schools. From the monitoring aspect and even more for sustainability of such program, what role could DEO play?

OLE Nepal has been implementing its ICT in education program in 23 primary schools in the district which includes E-Paati (XO laptop) and E-Pustakalaya program. DEO has given high importance to this program from the beginning of its implementation. Regarding the monitoring of the program, the DEO will utilize its resource center to monitor this program. Apart from this, we will also include this in our strategic plans. Also, District Education Officer himself will try to reach and monitor these schools as possible.

Regarding OLE Nepal’s approach to establish maintenance fund to support the program, DEO will help schools in finding necessary resources which will support them to sustain such programs in future.

Lastly, you have been watching OLE Nepal’s program very closely. Do you have any suggestions or feedback for OLE Nepal regarding its program and implementation aspects for future?

OLE Nepal has been implementing their program with close coordination with various educational bodies from central to district level. The initiative taken by OLE Nepal to provide access to the quality

educational resources through digital medium is highly appreciable. I personally along with the District Education Office would like to thank OLE Nepal for this great educational campaign.

I have closely monitored the program since my presence here in Bajhang. I have interacted with teachers regarding the program and have found that the teachers and students are highly positive about the program and is benefitting from it. They have also expressed their enthusiasm to learn more in order to remove all confusions regarding proper integration of the resources in their classes. Even more, the contribution of OLE Nepal’s volunteer program to help sustain the laptop program at schools is really appreciable. Their contribution definitely helps to boost confidence of teachers providing them with required support in integrating digital teaching-learning in their classes.

The success of the program can be measured in different ways; enrollment of students in schools, their educational achievements and the achievement of teachers gained from various competitive programs. However, it takes time to see the change and impact made by this program.

Lastly, I would like to say that Bajhang has 458 schools and we should not limit the laptop program in 23 schools only. Let us create the environment to flourish this seed of education (E- Paati-laptop program) for other schools of Bajhang as well. I wish the team of OLE Nepal a very good luck.

Learning while playing with digital educational resources

Samunnat Nepal, a non-profit organization working in the field of education, integrated OLE Nepal’s digital learning resources at four of their “Kheldai Sikne Kendra” in Chitwan and Banke. They provided four XO laptops and E-Pustakalaya server in each of their four cent- ers which were loaded with E-Paath and E-Pustakalaya content. The ‘Kheldai Sikne Kendra’ was established as a learning center for chil- dren who could not continue their schooling for various reasons. The aim of integrating digital learning resources was to provide children with a wonderful opportunities to explore additional educational re- sources.

OLE Nepal team comprising of Training and Monitoring Manager, Mr. Deepak Shrestha, Network and System Administrator, Mr. Bishnu Bidari, and Technical Staff, Mr. Saugat Tripathi, conducted two-day orientation and training program for the facilitators, volunteers and staff of the organization at their respective centres. The total of six- teen participants were present during the orientation that introduced them to the digital learning resources and its objectives along with the technicalities of networking.

The orientation program which was conducted in two stages during February 9 & 10 and March 9 & 10, 2015 in Chitwan and Banke also saw the presence of Mr. Baburam Paudel, Director of Non-formal Education from Ministry of Education overseeing the program.

Our intern Saugat explaining techanicalities of networking during the training

The huge resources available in E-Pustakalaya will be another important educational source for our children to improve their learning.

-Ms. Bimala Ranabhat, Facilitator

OLE Nepal’s highest deployment ever!!
Teachers from pangboche primary school learning to use XO laptops

OLE Nepal conducted its highest deploy- ment in cooperation with Nepal Youth Foundation (NYF). In process of providing access to quality learning resources to the students from different geographical backgrounds, OLE Nepal reached Pangboche located in Khumjung VDC of Solukhumbu District to deploy digital educational resources to students of Pangboche Primary School. Our team conducted an exciting five-day basic training in the conference hall located 4,000 meters above sea level.

Apart from training, our team also deployed 12 XO laptops loaded with E-Paath and E-Pustakalaya – learning resources designed and developed by OLE Nepal. The total of four participants were present during the training program conducted by Mr. Deepak Shrestha and Mr. Saugat Tripathi introduced them towards the objectives of the program, methods of integrating them in the classrooms and techni- calities of networking. The training was conducted from 21st to 25th of March 2015.

This is OLE Nepal’s first joint venture with the foundation. NYF is an organization who offers hope and opportunity to Nepal’s most impoverished children by providing them what is every child’s birth- right: vital health-care, education and a safe environment. The or- ganization also runs different programs enabling Nepali Youths to achieve their potentials.

Beautiful mountain range seen from the school.
Revisiting our pilot project schools
OLE Nepal team member checking the conditions of laptops

Visiting project schools is always a pleasure and a learning experience. These visits also gives us a chance to evaluate our responsibilities as a project implementer. OLE Nepal team took the opportunity to revisit the project schools located in Lalitpur district in process of providing technical support to schools. After its establishment in 2007, OLE Nepal had piloted the laptop program with One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) initiative in Basukhi Secondary School and Bhiswamitra Secondary School. Previously, total of 238 laptops loaded with E-Paath were distributed to the students which gave them one on one access to the quality educational digital resources.

Learning from our past experiences, OLE Nepal implemented the ‘shared model’ at these schools with an objective to reach more students with limited laptops. Certain number of laptops were provided to the school which was equivalent to the largest number of students in grades two through six. During the visit held in February 19th, team had an opportunity to review the status and update the systems of available laptops, as well as examine the technical functionalities of the laptops. Few laptops were also brought back for repairments. Along with the visit to these schools, our team also visited Sringeri Secondary School in Sisneri, one of our project schools.

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On E-Pustakalaya

Spreading the access of E-Pustakalaya in Bhaktapur

OLE Nepal continues to expand the reach of E-Pustakalaya in various regions of the country, with Bhaktapur being the latest addition. A team comprising of three members, Mr. Ganesh Ghimire, E-Pustakalaya Coordinator, and two technical staffs Mr. Sawal Acharya and Mr. Prashant Shrestha from OLE Nepal successfully installed offline E-Pustakalaya servers in Tara Secondary School and Bright Star English School on March 12 and 16 respectively. With this installation, many students will now have access to over 6,500 quality educational resources helping them explore their learning process.

Teachers from Tara Secondary and Bright Star English School learning about E-Pustakalaya

The entire staff were very enthusiastic about using digital learning resources. Their enthusiasm further escalated with the realisation that they can now use E-Pustakalaya on their mobile phones as well. “I can get access to the materials even when I am teaching in my classroom. This will surely help me provide students more information and make the lessons more exciting,” said one of the teachers of Tara Secondary School.

The installation process was followed by an orientation and presentation, highlighting the features of the digital library and elaboration on how to navigate the webpage through the interface. Some of the hands-on exercise on using pustakalaya was also conducted.

Looking at the two schools, we firmly believe that we have attained a head start in Bhaktapur district.

Visiting schools of Gorkha for data collection

OLE Nepal continues to expand the reach of E-Pustakalaya in various regions of the country, with Bhaktapur being the latest addition. A team comprising of three members, Mr. Ganesh Ghimire, E-Pustaka- laya Coordinator, and two technical staffs Mr. Sawal Acharya and Mr. Prashant Shrestha from OLE Nepal successfully installed offline E- Pustakalaya servers in Tara Secondary School and Bright Star English School on March 12 and 16 respectively. With this installation, many students will now have access to over 6,500 quality educational re- sources helping them explore their learning process.

Our intern collecting the data usage of E-Pustakalaya from our program school

OLE Nepal in collaboration with Maitri Trust UK and Gorkha Foundation has been implementing E-Pustakalaya Program in schools of Gorkha since two years. Till date, the program has been running in twenty-three schools in the district. OLE Nepal team comprising of four members, Ganesh Ghimire, Sawal Acharya, Shishir Pandey, and Peter Kayastha recently visited sixteen of these schools with the primary purpose of collecting data regarding E-Pustakalaya usage and technical support associated with the servers and networking. The visit was conducted from March 24 to 29, 2015 and was accompanied by Mr. Ganesh Shrestha, a district coordinator of Gorkha Foundation.

The process of data collection went by smoothly with no serious issue with the hardwares of the servers. However few of the schools had one common problem - slow loading of E-Pustakalaya content which was later solved by reinstalling NEXC Fedora, the operating system in the server.

Apart from data collection and technical support in district, the team also installed E-Pustakalaya server in a new school - Shree Saraswati Higher Secondary School, Aahale, Gorkha. Following the installation, Ganesh Ghimire, our E-Pustakalaya Coordinator, gave an orientation for the teachers of the school regarding E- Pustakalaya use. Both OLE Nepal and the school staffs believe that availability of quality digital learning materials in the school will further enhance the quality teaching learning process.

Maitri Trust is an organization based in United Kingdom that provides financial assistance to non-profit organization across developing world that have the potential to create systemic change through education and training.

Gorkha Foundation is also non-profit, grassroots organization working to improve living conditions and strengthen the economy in poor and marginalized communities in the Gorkha region.

What’s new in E-Pustakalaya

Since the beginning of the year, a total of 205 new titles have been added to our collection of E-pustakalaya. This time around, special emphasis was given to the academically oriented materials ranging from subjects such as Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Science, and Nepali. We strongly believe that these books serve as a great reference materials to the current curriculum for both teachers and students. Alongside adding books already available in the public domain, we are also digitizing books collected from the writers workshop held in Chitwan. We also are in talks with few authors to acquire their books for publication in E-Pustakalaya.

Besides adding new contents, we are also busy monitoring the deployment of offline E-Pustakalaya servers and looking forward to expanding its reach to few more schools. As per the suggestions from the E-Pustakalaya users, we are planning to create videos of tutorial lessons and children poems such as Tara Baji Lai Lai. Team also got an exciting opportunity to promote E-Pustakalaya through CAN Info-tech early this year. Our digital library reached an amazing numbers of people who were excited to get hold of all the freely available contents from the library.

Our E-Pustakalaya application is getting popular!

Just within few months of its launch, our E-Pustakalaya mobile application has reached new heights of popularity with 25th position of most downloaded application in the country. With its amazing features and content, the app has been successful in attracting significant number of readers.

E-Pustakalaya app makes educational resources hosted on pustaka - (link) freely available to the public. The app contains over 6,500 of digital learning resources including books of different genres in English, Nepali and other languages and will give readers a different experience in terms of ease and convenience in accessing the books they prefer. Moreover, the app has following features making its use easy and simple:

  • -  Browse books by category
  • - Search books using keywords,titles, or authors
  • - Sort books by author, title or date
  • - Download books as PDF
  • - Read books offline
  • - Access books from offline server (school server) deployed at schools

This app can be freely downloaded from the Google Play store. Click here to download.

E-Paath Updates!

Our designers and developers team are very close to wrapping up the development of digital learning activities for grade seven for science, math and English. The team is planning to have twenty-seven new digital science activities for grade seven ready for the approval from the Curriculum Development Center and math activities for the same grade has been developed in HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) version. With the new math curriculum expert in the team, it has been an exciting start for the development of activities for grade eight.

OLE Nepal’s vision to provide access to suitable learning resources by the children of marginalized communities is turning into the reality very soon. Our team has developed curriculum based lessons and activities in Chepang Language for subject science and math for grade 2 to 6. Soon, the team will be introducing these learning resources in schools with the pilot project.

Team is rolling smooth with the conceptualization of English content for grade eight and will start with its development soon. Apart from this, a rounds of twenty activities for science will be developed on the basis of objectives directed by the national curriculum.

We hope to produce qualitative and more interactive digital learning materials in coming days.To make learning more interactive, innovative and fun, we are creating amazing minigames in E-Paath activities. These minigames will help us instill into children’s sense of imagination and exploration. OLE Nepal designing team is extremely excited to develop various minigames for the children. Do check out some screen shots of the games!

Students take a role of expert and explore stones in school, caves in Pokhara, Taj Mahal of India, grand Canyon and Hawaii Islands through our ‘Geologist Mingma,’ a rock exploring activity.

Travel to different planets in the solar system and solve problems along your way to the space through our. ‘Deepa’s space travel,’ a planet identifying activity.

Travel with migrating birds and experience different weather in different places ranging from Tamil Nadu of India to Tibet through our. ‘Spring geese migration,’ a weather forecast activity.

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OLE Nepal @ CAN Info-tech 2015

The CAN (Computer Association of Nepal) Info-tech for the year 2015 took place early this year with astounding number of visitors coming in to explore new products in the world of hardware. OLE Nepal was also part of this huge exhibition that took place from January 28 to February 02 in the capital city, Kathmandu.

Through this platform, we largely exhibited our digital library, E-Pustakalaya making general public aware about these freely available resources which is hugely beneficial for everybody. Apart from highlighting the advantages of the tool and its mobile application, information regarding the ways to install E-Pustakalaya at schools was also actively shared. E-Paath, a curriculum based interactive digital

Our team answering visitors’ queries
Stall visitors using E-pustakalaya, a digital library

tool which currently holds activities for grades two through six was also freely distributed. From students, teachers, avid readers, bookworms to general public, people from various backgrounds visited the stall. They were excited to know about the tool which carries thousands of contents freely available to them not just online but also without internet connectivity.

We would like to heartily thank the CAN for allowing us to exhibit and promote our digital library to the public.

OLE Nepal’s teacher training program gets recognized

OLE Nepal’s teacher training program has always helped enhance the primary vision of the organization to transform the education system giving children from all backgrounds an access to high quality learning platform that is interactive, fun and meaningful. Teachers are an important aspect of the transformation envisioned. They are the key to success of the program and the training provided by OLE Nepal only enhances their role as a teacher.

This fact was further boosted by the special mention in the report “Teacher Education in Developing World” commissioned by Maitri Trust Organization where OLE Nepal’s teacher training program has

been recognized as one of the good practices. With the strong partnership in the field of education, particularly in the specifics of teacher training, leadership development in schools and curriculum development, Maitri Trust and OLE Nepal has been working hand in hand since two good years. Following are the excerpts from the report written by John Connell with the central focus on teacher education and an analysis of what good teacher education should be depending on different education delivery scenarios.

“In terms specifically of bringing good practice in teacher education and ICT together, the most impressive of the projects I looked at was OLE Nepal. Their programme of teacher training was one that took as an explicit aim the need to inculcate teachers with the necessary skills to be able to make practical use of ICT in the classroom as well as the pedagogical knowledge needed to integrate ICT deeply into their teaching and learning.

OLE Nepal began by associating itself with the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) Initiative, the brainchild of Nicholas Negroponte, a project that had worthwhile intentions but which eventually foundered because of poor project management. Nonetheless, OLE Nepal was able to take delivery, over a period of years, of approximately 3000 OLPC Laptops (called XOs) out of a planned deployment of over 5000. But in addition to the distribution of laptops to schools, OLE Nepal took the essential additional step of understanding the critical requirement of building networks across the schools to allow those laptops to make use of he vast swathes of resources and applications available on the Web. Every school that OLE Nepal is involved with has an internet connection and a fully-functioning local area network (with wifi included) capable of allowing the full complement of connected devices in the school to be used effectively in the classrooms. I have seen many initiatives in many countries across the world where it was thought sufficient to ensure that every student and teacher was able to access a computer or other device without realizing that thousands of computers on desks but not on any network were simply a wasted resource.

Furthermore, OLE Nepal also understood the importance, from the start of ensuring that teachers and children had access to curricular materials that fitted with the needs of the Nepalese education system and that, of course, were produced in the national language, Nepali. To this end, they established two repositories of digital content, one aimed primarily at teachers (e-Paath – paath/) and the other aimed at primary-aged children (ePustakalaya

– Both collections cover the full range of subjects covered in Nepalese schools, and the teacher- focused resources were produced to enable fun, effective, child- centred learning activities for children.

The teacher-training programme run by OLE Nepal promotes a child-centred pedagogy that combines theory (including sessions on educational philosophers) and practice, classroom management, the integration of ICT into teaching, and the use of the digital content repositories. OLE Nepal is a truly impressive project in its scope as well as in its philosophy and implementation.”

As mentioned in the report, the training program for integrating digital learning resources E-Paath and E-Pustakalaya in classes combines of presentation, interaction, hands on activities and practice preparing teachers to successfully conduct technology-integrated classes. The training package prepared in consultation with National Center for Educational Development (NCED) provides teachers with practice in topics such as lesson planning, basic troubleshooting, classroom arrangement, techniques for managing the class, and pre and post non-computer activities that can be used to integrate the computer- based activities more effectively.

“The wonderful model of educational change found in OLE Nepal and others bring hope to many communities across the developing world.”

n regards to implementing laptop based teaching process in schools, our teacher training is structured in alignment with implementation of the program. The training program divided into three levels with prior orientation consists of Initial, In-school and Refresher Trainings.

Each of these training period varies in objectives, duration and location. Subsequent to the orientation on the program, initial training is held right before the program is launched at the schools. This sessions incorporates basic training on the use of computer, E-Paath and E-Pustakalaya with special focus on education philosophies and the way children learn. It also includes discussion on proper classroom management and sitting arrangements. Following the initial training, In-school training is held four to six weeks after the program launch. Since it is conducted after the students have had ample time using the tool, the trainers observe the ICT-integrated classes run by the teachers. This allows both parties to identify the improvements and discuss various challenges faced by the teachers while integrating the resources at the schools. This in-between training gives teachers the necessary confidence and knowledge. The third level of training is the Refresher training. As the name suggests, this training revisits various techniques of teaching while addressing the issues faced in the classrooms. Held after six months of program implementation, the training provides orientation on additional activities and encourages teachers to pass this knowledge to other teachers in the community. So far, OLE Nepal has trained about 500 teachers through whose support we have directly benefited more than 30,000 students providing them access to quality learning resources.

To read full report, please click Teacher Education in Developing World

Thanking you for being a valuable part of OLE Nepal!

Sumit Acharya

Sumit recently concluded his journey with OLE Nepal. He was our Network and System Engineer for above two years who contributed immensely in technicalities of our work. Under his supervision, various technical and networking duties took place smoothly. He initially joined OLE Nepal as an intern and was later promoted to the position where he looked after the systems and networking in the office. Apart from this, he was also actively involved in field visits related to deployment and support visits to project schools. Sumit has traveled to Germany for his higher studies in Masters in Communication Technology at University of Ulm. OLE Nepal family would like to wish him all the very best for his studies and future endeavours.

Saugat Tripathi

Saugat was our intern for almost a year. With energetic and light hearted attitude, he took his internship as an opportunity to pursue his interest in computer science and get an understanding on integrating technology with humanity. He also volunteered for the school support in Bajhang through which he also gained first hand experience of OLE Nepal’s program in the region. Saugat will soon be continuing his further studies. We would like to wish him all the best for his academic prospects.

Thank you Volunteers!!!

Our four amazing volunteers for Bajhang Suman Adhikari, Ravindra Shah, Deepesh Thapa and Shambhu Bhattarai has completed their ten weeks volunteering time in Bajhang district. Their enthusiasm and perseverance towards volunteering in location like Bajhang is commendable. After receiving extensive training at OLE Nepal office on various technical and non-technical aspects of the program, they traveled to Bajhang. Thier invaluable assistance to assistance teachers and students in incorporating digital learning resource in everyday teaching-learning process in the classrooms will contribute in the sustainability of the program. Thank you guys for carrying out all the assigned tasks excellently during your volunteering period. We would like to wish them all a very best.

Welcome to OLE Nepal family!

Bhim Dhami who is originally from Bajhang recently joined our team as Field Coordinator for the Bajhang project district. He will be providing significant assistance in monitoring and supporting our laptop program schools in the area. Apart from this, he will also closely work with OLE Nepal to implement program in the district. He is currently undertaking Master’s in Education from Tribhuwan University.

Rabindra Shrestha recently joined OLE Nepal’s content development team to help design and develop interactive learning activities particularly for grade eight math. He has been associated with different organization working in the field of Education. Rabindra is also a founding member of Bloom Nepal School which is dedicated to the purpose of providing fertile ground for the production of holistic learner with highly defined expertise in the field of their interest. Rabindra holds bachelor degree from St. Peter’s college New Jersey , USA.

Our activities for Spring!

This spring, we have planned a special project launch in the schools of Chepang community. The curriculum based activities which has already been developed in Chepang language will soon be introduced in a school of Chitwan. This region of the country has majority of Chepang speaking people and integrating the curriculum based learning resources will help the children to learn new concepts in their first language. Apart from this, we will soon be conducting orientation program for the newly selected twenty schools which are part of our phase III of Bajhang Laptop Program. Along with the orientations for new schools, our phase II schools will also receive an In-school training. Teachers from these schools had previously received our basic training as well. A support and training program is also planned for our program schools of Gumli Banke, Solukhumbu and Baglung district. In Gulmi, OLE Nepal had installed E-Pustakalaya in eight schools in October 2012 in coordination with Rato Bangla Foundation. A substantial amount of contents have been added to E-Pustakalaya since then. We are now planning an update and support visit to all the schools. Likewise, support visit has also been planned for Banke, Solukhumbu and Baglung for installation of sixty new secondary level activities in E-Paath of all the program schools within these three districts. We will be sharing more on these planned activities in our next edition of our newsletter.

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