2nd September 2020, Kathmandu
The unexpected COVID-19 has hit hard globally. It is no surprise that the education industry is one of the primary hits of this pandemic. The education system worldwide has been challenged and the situation is no different here in Nepal.
In such a challenging time, how did Aadim College in Chabahil, Chuchchepati manage to admit new intakes?
We were lucky to interview the optimistic personality of Aadim College’s principal, Mr. Shankar Pd Sharma.
What is the current status of Aadim College?
Aadim College is currently running online classes every day with innovative means. The students and teachers are practicing online learning’s mostly from Zoom and Microsoft’s Teams.
How difficult has the lockdown been for Aadim?
It has definitely been difficult for us. We cannot ask the students to pay a full fee at times like these. At the same time, we need to pay our staff that keeps the operation going. So there is a big financial challenge for us.
Not just that, many students are living in places where they cannot access the internet.
Also, none of us were ready for a complete digital shift. Most of our staff and students had problems at the beginning. So there were a lot of managerial challenges during the first phase of lockdown.
How do students study when there is no internet?
We are also taking this issue into consideration. We are accessing recorded/offline classes for students. Not just that, our students can learn from these videos anytime and can raise questions anytime during the day. We have a great team of teachers who are very proactive. This has helped us a lot to maintain consistency.
Are online classes more difficult compared to physical classes? How is the experience?
Surprisingly, online classes are more interactive and more effective. Sure, at first, it was difficult to adapt to a new platform. And that too, in a short time. We are getting better interactions with students now.
How are you taking new admissions? And how will new batches run?
We are taking new admissions under the guidance of the Nepal Government. We are examining academic certificates digitally and taking online interviews through Zoom calls and Microsoft Teams.
In fact, we are also taking digital entrance exams.
We are planning to start our academic sessions after Dashain & Tihar. If the Education Board of Nepal allows physical college attending, we will proceed accordingly. Otherwise, we will continue with our online-based classes.
Are social platforms helpful? How are you advertising the new admission?
I have to admit, social platforms like Facebook have helped us a lot to promote our messages to our students. Therefore, we keep our platforms updated.
Yes, we are doing advertisements mostly from our social media handles. We are doing a few Television and Radio promotions as well.
How do you see this situation and what will be your future plans?
Undoubtedly this a great challenge for the entire nation’s education system. We were not ready for a sudden shift. However, we take this as an opportunity as well, to adapt and change the learning ways here in Nepal.
We are also encouraging our teachers to create more video content. Even for subjects like Accounts and Mathematics, we are doing video content.
Pandemics like this can happen anytime. Staying tech-ready and giving priority to content is something I recommend every school and colleges out there.
The schooling and learning have been hit very hard but it is impressive to see how most schools are fighting back with e-learning! It is indeed high time for schools to adapt to digital learning platforms.
As recommended by Mr. Shankar Pd Sharma, schools and colleges should focus on their content game moving forward.
We wish all the management teams’ good luck!