December 2019 | Baitadi
Our field staff conducted monitoring and technical support visit to 15 schools in Baitadi from November 26 to December 16, 2019. Meetings were held at each of the 15 schools to understand the status of the laptop program – the integration of digital resources in teaching learning process, and technical status of equipment. Overall, it was observed that all the schools are successfully running the program, except in a few schools which had issues with loading E-Pustakalaya, which was resolved during the visit.
In addition to the technical support, our staff also installed digital Early Grade Reading (EGR) content in all XO laptops and oriented the teachers about the content and its use. Our content development team has created digital stories with audio and interactive elements that promote reading and comprehension skills in young learners. Along with installing EGR content, the staff also gave EGR software in a pendrive to each school. This allows them to update the software themselves if they need it later.
A team from OLE Nepal travelled to Baitadi to meet with officials of six Rural Municipality offices on December 10-16, 2019. The main objective of the visit was to share the status of program school and seek support from the local level to sustain the program. Head teachers from each program school were invited to their respective local level office, to share the program updates which was followed by a discussion. The meetings were a good opportunity to discuss possible coordination with the local level. Common questions raised by all local level officials was how they can expand this program to other schools in their area and what would be their roles to sustain this program. The participants included officials from the Education Unit, Chief Administrative Officer, elected officials, Head and deputy head. WFP Baitadi district coordinator, Mr. Binod Dev Bhatta was also present in the meeting with officials at Dogadakedar Municipality.
Our team shared about OLE Nepal’s free and open digital resources: E-Paath and E-Pustakalaya with local level authorities and showed how more schools in the region could benefit from its use. They also shared a copy of E-Paath to each local level’s education unit so that they can send it to other schools that have computers. Local authorities were encouraged to apply for funding through the Government’s ICT in Education program, as they are providing funds to schools to set up computer labs with digital library serves where they can install E-Pustakalaya.
In order to sustain the program at the schools, all local level authorities were asked to regularly monitor the program through their education unit. They were also encouraged to allocate budget for maintenance funds for schools with existing technology infrastructures. As a part of OLE Nepal’s initial agreement with schools, all the schools should create maintenance funds to ensure the program runs smoothly, and laptop program schools in Baitadi have been practicing this and gradually increasing the funds too. The maintenance fund is meant to be used for upgrade and maintenance of necessary equipment at the schools. Few of the local levels have already provided the funds to the schools.
Overall the meetings with local level officials were effective and a good opportunity for both schools and OLE Nepal to share the updates of program and seek support from local level. All the local level authorities assured they will regularly monitor the program through their local education units and provide financial support to the schools. Local authorities also stated that they would discuss with their education unit to prepare plans to expand the digital library program to other schools in their area.
The laptop program in Baitadi was launched in September 2016.