Creating smart future though Digitization
Dec. 27, 2018
Nepal has gone through ten governments in the last nine years and has made some progress towards democracy. But classrooms across Nepal today look nearly identical to those 20 years ago — minus a few upgrades to the whiteboard, and sneaking texts in class instead of notes.
Public school, in particular, are one of the few institutions in modern Nepal that have not seen radical changes spurred by technology. We are not talking about having computers in schools, but rather a lack of any seismic shift in the way things are done.
As the ed-tech industry is booming in Nepal, startups like Open Learning Exchange Nepal (OLE Nepal) where Teach For Nepal Alumnus Kabindra Manandhar, work as a content developer is creating digital content to enhance education quality for students in Nepal.
“I went to teach in southern Lalitpur, as a Teach For Nepal Fellows. During my Fellowship, I found out first hand how digital learning gave students the ability to pace learning to one’s preference, to review material, and to be assessed on a section before moving to another leading to mastery learning.” Said Kabindra Manadhar.
Like Kabindra, Prabal Pradhan is on the mission to digitize schools in Nepal by creating software for smarter school management. The software has made managing school stress-free for both parents and educators. Private schools in Nepal are gradually implementing his digital solutions to involve a generation familiar with the likes of iPhones and tablets and trying to make the school management atmosphere more broad and participatory.
Information technology has reformed each sector it has grasped and it is currently in the promising phases of altering academia. Teach For Nepal Alumnus Gaurab Raj Pandey who taught at Nawalpur Secondary School started a fundraising project to build a computer lab at his placement school.
“Digitization in the education industry has totally changed the learning and also the teaching process to a very great extent,” Says Gaurab. “Nepal’s landscape presents students with challenges to access school but with the help of technology children can reach out beyond the walls of their classroom to interact with other students, other teachers, and renowned authors, scientists and experts to enhance their learning. If we can introduce technology to some of the digital native children, they will grow up to become teachers, who will continue to build and use their own communities of learning online.”
Gaurab also collaborated with Rotract to partner with Microland International to provide hardware training to teachers from 12 different public schools. Various teachers were ready to accept the wave of digitization but more effort still needs to be exercised when it comes to teacher training. Outmoded teaching methods need to meet with 21st-century teaching and learning trends in Nepal. When schools and teachers are digitalized, the teaching material has the power to involve students in methods that aren’t possible with stationary pages.
Recently, Teach For Nepal alumni Astha Khatri, Milan Kumar Sardar Tharu, Shina Shrestha, and Richa Neupane organized a workshop named “Udeshya - Girls in STEM”. The main aim of the workshop was to break the stereotype of people towards girls and to give girls exposure in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.
In the coming years, if Teach For Nepal's Alumni's projects has its approach, education will be far changed, more immersive and hopefully more constructive to the students than it is today.
The digital revolution is edging its way into the classroom and teachers should be able to unite it with traditional type teaching, which is one of the other essential conditions in ensuring a modern and innovative learning process is providing the learning environment that enhances the interest and activity of adolescents. A skillful teacher has to change every environment into a promoting an interesting learning and training place. It means that the teachers should be able to generate new ideas, to develop a creative use of materials, to choose and to use the most appropriate methods and diversity of technologies in order to implement high-quality teaching content in their professional activity.
We still have a long way to go where information and communication technology in education facilitates students understanding and they are exposed to external education. But young educators and entrepreneurs have taken steps forward to create the best situation for students in the underprivileged community to be able to absorb what comes up in the classroom.
Written by Neraz Tuladhar