Those who follow our social media will probably already know a bit about alumni Ram Rijal, Chandan Mishra and Chandra Bhandari (Bloom Nepal School and Bloom ED) who have been involved in the education sector in Nepal for some time. The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on education has been vast across the globe, with institutions being closed down and the majority of teaching moved online. Offering this sort of learning has its own challenges, particularly in developing countries, where many students are in remote locations or do not have the resources or facilities available to continue their education in this way.
Alumnus Ram explained:
‘Education has been hit hard in Nepal. The government acted early and closed all schools about fifteen days before the scheduled year end on March 25. Major national examinations, including secondary education examinations (SEE) and School Leaving Certificates (SLC) were cancelled. These are high stake exams taken by about 850,000 students annually.
The new academic year should have started on April 15, however the country has been subjected to a complete lockdown, resulting in severe implications for continued learning. With the exception of a few schools based in prominent towns, who can afford to implement the technology to teach online, the vast majority have failed to offer learning options. Consequently, children remain out of school for now, and it is uncertain when learning can resume.
In these uncertain times, Bloom Nepal School has stepped forward with online classes. We have opened our online classes to all students across the country. Likewise, BloomED has addressed the needs of SEE students to access high-quality solutions to all past papers. The portal, which has been partly funded by the Pestalozzi Development Fund, serves as an intelligent system that can help learners achieve high scores in their final exams. More than 1000 students are already using the system.
Due to the high costs and scant availability of reliable internet in non-urban settings, it has been very tough to engage students fully in the teaching-learning process. The school has reached out to parents to discuss concerns and make learning as available as possible through the provision of offline materials. BloomED, on the other hand, has continued to reach out to more users through the use of social media and also through upgrading the content of the website to best fit the need of learners.’
We are impressed by the efforts of our alumni from Nepal in continuing to offer educational opportunities to as many students as possible in such challenging circumstances, as they themselves know the transformational impact of education.
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