Issue 33 | January - March 2016

E-Learning Exchange

OLE Nepal's quarterly newsletter
Wishing you a Happy New Year 2073

Presentation at about OLE Nepal's programs at Baitadi District education Office
Laptop program in Baitadi

OLE Nepal is making preparations to launch its laptop program in Baitadi district located in the remote far western region. The program will build on the successful partnership between Nepal’s Department of Education, UN World Food Programme and OLE Nepal in promoting quality learning opportunities in primary schools located in marginalized communities in this region.
Two rounds of meetings have been held at the Baitadi District Education Office and District Development Committee to discuss program goals, implementation approach, and the roles and responsibilities of various stakeholders. The DDC has approved the project, and the DEO has broadcast an announcement through local radio stations inviting interested schools to send applications ahead of school selection. 

Read more.
Interaction program on ICT-integrated classroom practices
Top (L-R): Rabi Karmacharya (OLE Nepal), Dr. Lava Deo Awasthi (Joint Secretary, Ministry of Education), Mr. Jorma Suvanto (Ambassador of Finland), Mr. Kagaraj Poudel (Director General, Department of Education), Dr. Hari Lamsal (Joint Secretary, Ministry of Education)

Bottom: Program in progress
A discussion program on Improving Access to Quality Education through ICT-integrated classes was held on March 24th in Kathmandu. The program hosted by OLE Nepal and the Embassy of Finland was chaired by Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Education Dr. Lava Deo Awasthi, and attended by high ranking officials from the ministry and its line agencies. The Ambassador of Finland Mr. Jorma Suvanto expressed his country's commitment to assist Nepal's various development programs, including OLE Nepal's projects on innovative use of ICT in schools. The Director General of Department of Education Mr. Khaga Raj Baral highlighted the achievements of the partnership between OLE Nepal and DoE, while Dr. Hari Lamsal from MoE underscored the key role ICT can play in promoting access to quality education.  

The findings for a mid-term evaluation commissioned by the Embassy of Finland was presented by the research team, which was followed by discussions on the various aspects of the use of ICT in school education. Teachers from Banke and Lalitpur presented their experiences in implementing ICT-based education in their schools and the changes they have found in student learning. Officials from the National Center for Educational Development and Curriculum Development Center shared their views and programs on training and content development. Development partners, including the World Food Programme, and representatives from other non-governmental organizations, also participated actively in the discussions.

In his closing remarks, Dr. Awasthi requested relevant institutions to form thematic working groups to build on the research findings and incorporate the views and experiences of schools, teachers, and other experts to develop effective model on the use of ICT to promote quality learning practices in classrooms.
School Reconstruction in Gorkha
OLE Nepal team measuring the construction site
Location of one of the school buildings
The reconstruction of school buildings damaged by last year’s earthquakes is expected to begin soon after all the needed permits have been secured. OLE Nepal has already got recommendation from the Gorkha District Education Office, District Development Committee, and the District Administration Office, and has signed an agreement with the Department of Education to construct four primary school buildings with support from Air Asia Foundation. The schools will also be provided with laptops and digital learning activities, thanks to contribution that we received from hundreds of donors in Nepal and abroad. We are currently getting the structural analysis of our building design done before submitting it to the government for final approval. Read more
Proposed school building design
Symposium on Humanitarian Innovation: Sustainability and Scale

UC Berkeley, California

Rabi Karmacharya presenting on the response after the earthquake in 2015

Mr. Rabi Karmacharya from OLE Nepal presented on the humanitarian response during last year's earthquake at the symposium on Humanitarian Innovation: Sustainability and Scale on February 23-24. He highlighted innovative tools that aided in the rescue and relief operations in the aftermath of the disaster, and underlined the critical roles that local entrepreneurs and innovators can play in developing and applying innovative technologies during humanitarian crisis. The program brought together leading technology experts, researchers and humanitarian actors to explore the potential of innovative tools and practices in humanitarian contexts, the role of business, and how new partnerships are leading to better outcomes for millions of people affected by conflict and natural disaster around the world.

Supporting schools to integrate digital lessons effectively
Teacher conducting laptop-integrated class
A program school in remote part of Bajhang
In-School training in Bajhang

As part of the program to enable schools in Bajhang to integrate technology effectively in classrooms, OLE Nepal's training team conducted in-school training to teachers from 20 primary schools where the laptop program was launched in August 2015. Many of the schools located in remote locations required the four teams of trainers and support staff to walk for hours across hilly terrains over a span of two weeks. At the schools, the teams observed laptop-integrated classes conducted by teachers who had participated in the initial seven-day training before the launch of the program at their schools in 2015. Each classroom observation was followed by feedback and discussion sessions involving fellow teachers and trainers. The in-school training is designed to help address any question or concern teachers may have, and to build their confidence in this new methodology in teaching-learning. 

At each school, the team held interaction programs with the larger community including parents and school management committee to underline the importance of local participation in supporting and sustaining the program. 
E-Paati classroom in Bajhang
Laptop-integrated class in progress

Top: Students in Ganesh Primary School in Baglung
Bottom: OLE Nepal updating E-Pustakalaya lab
Technical support in Baglung

OLE Nepal continues to support schools in Baglung district where laptop program was introduced in 2012. During a recent visit to the district, our team provided technical assistance at the six schools, replacing damaged screens and chargers, and updating the digital library server with new content and adding grade seven English, math and science E-Paath activities. 
Interaction programs were held with parents and management committees at the schools to gather their thoughts on how to sustain the program so that maximum number of students can benefit from the digital resources. 
 What is new in E-Paath

Our content team tried a new approach while designing English E-Paath activities by mixing real images with illustrated characters in a lesson about Leonardo da Vinci. In this activity, students can follow the life of Vinci through audio-visual aids, and get inspired by his passion for knowledge. 
Click here to try the activity

Periodic Table is another digital learning activity that has been recently developed by OLE Nepal as per grade 8 science curriculum. This lesson is designed to help learners explore the periodic table interactively. It gives a detailed overview of the logic behind the structure of the periodic table. 
Click here to try the activity

E-Pustakalaya update
A total of 284 e-books have been added to the E-Pustakalaya collection since January 2016, bringing the total number of titles to 7067. Offline version of the free and open digital library has been updated with new additions like interactive PhET simulations, TED videos for science and technology, latest complete wikipedia, wiktionary and Khan Academy update with 7000+ videos and interactive exercises. 

OLE Nepal continues to load E-Pustakalaya in low-power devices and install them in schools so that students and teachers can access this wonderful collection of free and useful digital learning materials without internet connectivity.

Check the free and open digital library
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Open Learning Exchange Nepal
Telephone: +977-1-554-4441, 552-0075 
PO Box 8975, EPC 2394
Kathmandu, Nepal