Wednesday, 19 June, 2024

Local governments to manage alternative learning


By A Staff Reporter
Kathmandu, Sept. 14: The 'directives on student's learning facilitation, 2077' introduced by the Ministry for Education, Science and Technology (MOEST) has been endorsed by the Cabinet giving authority to the local governments to manage learning opportunities through alternative modes for school students.
The Cabinet approved it on September 4. The directives have paved the way for the private schools to conduct online classes by charging fees. The schools, however, must seek permission from the local level to charge fees. Earlier, the MOEST had brought the directives to engage children in learning activities from June 15, but it had not allowed private schools to charge fees.
The directives stated that the schools and local governments would facilitate students to have learning environment at home. According to the directives, the federal, state and local governments and schools have to coordinate to reach the students through different mediums.
According to the directives, the government targeted to reach the school students through different alternative mediums like online, offline, radio, television, print, based on the access of technology to the students.
The schools have to collect names, addresses, contacts and their access to technology of the students in coordination with the local government, and the schools have to facilitate students to be engaged in learning activities, provisioned the directives.
The local governments and the schools will classify students in five categories, namely the students who do not have any access to technology, having access to radio, having access to television, having access to computer but without internet connection, and having internet access, the directive read.
As per the directives, the students who don’t have access to any type of technology could learn through textbooks and printing materials made available by the local governments and schools. The federal government will manage the availability of materials.
Besides available print contents, locally available teachers as well as volunteers will be mobilised from local governments to help the children who don’t have access to any other technology. Guardians also have their role to motivate children to learn.
For the students having access to FM radio and television, the local and state governments have to make arrangements to broadcast the learning materials.
The local governments will ensure availability of printed learning materials for those students who don't have any access of technology.
The directive has asked schools to publish weekly and monthly schedules of learning facilitation programmes.
The directives have stated that if the students have access to multiple mediums, they can choose one or multiple options according to their interest. Schools and teachers themselves could develop materials at their own initiative, the directive further said.
The directives have also provisions for the management of learning opportunities for Early Child Development phase students.
Shiba Raj Panta, principal of Learning Realm International School, Kathmandu said though the government decision to give validity to alternative learning was appreciable, it had come too late.