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Pandemic turns into opportunity for Nepal teachers to upskill technologically

ANI | Updated: Aug 03, 2020 03:25 IST

By Binod Prasad Adhikari
Lalitpur [Nepal], Aug 3 (ANI): With COVID-19 outbreak forcing educational institutions of Nepal to go online, teachers like Dawa Lama who faced hurdles in conducting virtual classes with confusion about use of technology while teaching using the internet and online platforms, don't feel the same way now.
After attending a training camp organised by Patan Secondary School for teachers like him to address their issues and upgrade them in the application of technology, Lama says he has upgraded his technological skill and ideas.
"Attending training has definitely enhanced my skills. As the COVID-19 has kept students away from school, it has enabled us to conduct some virtual classes," Dawa said on the third day of his 5-day training session.
The school is providing training to teachers to enable them to conduct virtual classes efficiently.

"Earlier we use distributed textbooks to students and apprised them about virtual classes being held via Television or Radio. Apart from that, we thought to teach them in our presence for which we selected classes regarded as important such as Grade-10 and have continued the classes along with training which is sharpening us. Some of the students are out of valley-in remote places," Lama, an Accountancy teacher at the school told ANI.
Established in 1981 BS, Patan Secondary School now hosts about a thousand students who belong to weak economic backgrounds.
With uncertainty looming over reopening of educational institutions, the school thought to choose the alternative way and cope with the technology for which it considered an upgrade in teacher's technological skills.
"The COVID-19 pandemic is yet to loosen its grip which has created an atmosphere of fear which might push us back in conducting the classes. We have been conducting classes for 9, 10, 11 and 12 grades via Zoom Meeting before starting on the training. The previous classes worked on well and we thought to make it more diligent. We have started providing training to the teachers about various online platforms to teach so that the students won't be deprived of education amid the situation of pandemic. It is our step to take the classes onto each and every house of students," Ishwor Man Bajracharya, Principal at Patan Secondary School said.
Operated on by Government, the school has been conducting training for its teachers with grants from local bodies as well as its own income. Though the teachers are being fortified with skills to use newer technologies challenge of its application and reach to all intended students remains prominent.
"The technology being used now are easily accessible, it is not like the students can't use them- they know about and operate it. But the problem is, connection problem in rural areas, a lot of disturbance are experienced there. We also are conducting the classes via Zoom Meeting but the students face the problem of weaker signals, power-cuts and many more. Some of them even can't afford expenses on their own to purchase on internet data," Bajracharya said.
About 96 per cent of the total population of the Himalayan nation has been connected with electricity, the Energy Progress Report released in 2019 by Five SDG stakeholder agencies showed. The International Energy Agency, International Renewable Energy Agency, United Nations Statistics Division, World Bank and World Health Organization had conducted the survey. (ANI)