April 07, 2020, Kathmandu, Nepal
Universities around the world have shifted their educational process to online. In Nepal, online classes are being conducted on campus and affiliated campuses of various universities. Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu University, and numerous private colleges have conducted online courses at multiple faculties.
According to the TU Faculty of Management, online classes have been started since Sunday, even at the MBA level. They had also begun a MPhil level online class a week ago. Saraswati Campus and Lumbini Commercial Campus in Kathmandu, Campus in Nawalparasi, have also started online courses.
Program Director Dr. Mahananda Chalise said that after starting their online classes, various campuses of TU and other universities have started competing for this class. According to Chalise, online courses have also been launched in MPhil level studies at Purbanchal University.
At present, most of TU’s online classes are run on campus with the help of ‘Zoom technology.’ This is the same technology other universities around the world are using to educate their students.
Chalice said professors in Korea and China had taken Nepali students online through online classes since the start of the online courses.
Likewise, Sameer Bista, a student studying at the MBA level at TU, said that online classes are more effective than traditional courses. He stressed that the online courses attended by 34 students from different parts of the country should resume after lockdown as well.
Professor of KU and member of University Grants Commission Dr. Bikash Adhikari also favored online classes. He informed the study has been started online through various schools of KU.
Classes of the School of Education, School of Science and School of Engineering are now started online from various schools of the University. “Although these schools do not even have full online classes, some teachers are conducting such classes,” Adhikari said. These classes are conducted for all postgraduate level students only. A team leader allocates the proper time for the online courses. The leader, in consultation with all the students, decides the time.
According to him, KU used the software called ELF 4 years ago, for the sake of conducting online classes. Yet, due to technical difficulties, the software called ‘Zoom’ is currently used.
But according to him, they are having some difficulties in Zoom Software. They mentioned that every 45 minutes, the call gets disconnected. But, he said that keeping notes, homework, and so on is effective.
‘Online classes have been more effective than teaching students in the class,’ said Dr. Adhikari said.
Similarly, Kathmandu Model College has started online classes from Sunday. MBS students were taught online by the college. Rameshwar Aryal, managing director of KMC Network, said that online courses had been started so that the lockdown will not affect students’ learning for long.
Education Minister’s interest in the online classroom
Minister for Education and Science, Girirajmani Pokharel, has expressed interest in the problem of recurrence due to natural calamities like lockdown, earthquake. He informed me that the concerned body has been repeatedly instructed to prepare courses for conducting online classes.
Four days ago, even the officials of the Grants Commission had directed the Minister to look into this when preparing the next year’s budget.
Online classes have proven themselves to be more effective than traditional education systems. Students, as well as teachers, favor this kind of education. Online courses have connected students staying in different parts of the country due to lockdown. These online classes should resume even after lockdown.