Computer Education for the Next Generation

Navajyoti Tham Secondary School lies in Bhukatangle VDC in Parbat District at a distance of 20 km from the district headquarter, Kushma. Currently, 243 students (147 girls and 96 boys) of grade one to ten are studying at the school. Majority of these students belong to poor Gurung, Magar, and Chhetri communities. Since 2013 AD, GNI Nepal is working with the school to improve the quality of education, and at present, 100 students (50 girls and 50 boys) are benefiting from GNI Nepal’s Sponsorship Service Program.
Navajyoti Tham School, like elsewhere in Nepal, also started computer education, albeit, without having a single computer. Theoretical portion only was taught to the students: the computer teacher lectured about computers along with showing the students a few drawings/pictures every now and then. The black and white computer course books also multiplied challenges for the teachers to portray an exact picture of computers. Naturally, the students were neither impressed nor motivated.In 2013, the school bought seven desktop computers with funding from the district education office. After a few days of usage, two computers started malfunctioning. One computer was permanently reserved for official use. Four computers only were not enough for all teachers and students for gaining any practical skills. Students had to queue for using the computer. The limited theoretical lecturing that went in the computer class also had no effect on the students. Some students passed the exams even without touching the keyboard once. Students started to leave for private schools in the area for not getting to use the computer at the school. “Retaining the students was a real challenge for us. My team knocked the door of many organizations, but we did not get any support”, recalls Mina Kumari Gurung, the principal of the school.
During a community need assessment (CNA) in 2015, the school requested GNI Nepal to help establish a computer lab. In 2016, GNI Nepal provided twelve computers, eight tables, twenty chairs and one round study-table to the school. The computer lab was carpeted and painted in vibrant colors to create a visually appealing environment.  In addition, fourteen teachers received a seven-day computer literacy training.
Equipped with all-round theoretical knowledge, practical skills and adequate number of computers, the teachers are now enthusiastically imparting knowledge and practical skills to the students. Students are so eager to use the computer that they can be found in the computer lab during recess and leisure hours. The principal of the school remarked, “After the establishment of the new computer lab, not a single student has left the school. The attendance rate has also gone up compared to the past”.

For facilitating easy access to thousands of books for all (grade 1-12) students, the school has plans for setting up an offline library in the computer lab. Currently, the school offers computer classes to lower secondary level students only. Since the school has enough computers now, computer classes to primary as well as secondary level students will also be offered in the near future.In an effort to ensure smooth operation and long-term sustainability of the lab, all school management committee and parents teachers association members and guardians are scheduled to meet regularly and take necessary actions. And two teachers will train on the hardware and software components.

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