Saturday, 4 April, 2020

Open University boon for students working, living far away


By Manjima Dhakal

Kathmandu, Dec. 30: Nepal Open University has become a boon for those who want to graduate from a university but are unable to enroll on a campus because of time constraints and locality of the campuses.
The students living far away from the universities and affiliated campuses and having no time to take classes due to their job and other problems are found highly benefited from the courses offered by the Open University.
Aarati Bista, ICT officer of Punarbas Municipality, Kanchanpur, is studying Master in E-governance in Nepal Open University. She has been taking her master classes through online every day.
Talking with The Rising Nepal, Bista said, “The open university operates its classes from 7:00 -10:00 pm in the evening.
So, after having personal user id and password every student from anywhere could attend the e-learning. Even if the students do not have time to take online classes the students could get the lectures in the archive.”
Bista further said she was very thankful towards Open University because her dream of being graduated in e-governance was going to be true only because of the Open University.
Like Aarati, Sarad Kafle of Nawalparasi is a lecturer at Lumbini ICT Campus, Gaindakot, is also a student of Master in E-governance at the Open University. He has also been taking classes from own hometown through distance learning.
Kafle has praised the easy learning mode of the Open University. However, Kafle said the university failed to deliver the knowledge effectively as it could do from the software they used.
In lack of sufficient and qualified techno friendly manpower, the varsity has failed to monitor or regulate students as other such universities of the globe have been doing.
Now, Nepal Open University has been running 18 programme under different three faculties namely Sociology and Education Faculty, Science Health and Technology Faculty and Management and Law Faculty.
Courses, including M Phil in Education, M Phil in Social Sciences, PG Diploma in Distance and E-learning, Diploma in Library and Information Management, MPhil in ICT, Master in e- Governance, Master in Geo-informatics, Master of Business Administration, Master of Science in Development Management and Governance, Bachelor of Laws, Bachelor of Business Science and other courses are being offered by the open university.
The university has been running the classes for the last two years after the promulgation of the Open University Act four years ago. In the university, about 1,200 students are studying, Kamal Dhakal, registrar of Nepal Open University, said.
“In any subject mainly 40 per cent courses are covered through online classes, which are also called collaborative learning where interaction happens between the tutors and learners.
And, 60 per cent courses will cover from self-study which are mostly research based,” Prof. Ram Chandra Poudel, Dean of Sociology and Education Faculty, said.
Prof Lekhnath Sharma, Vice-chancellor of Nepal Open University, said they were not making any compromise to deliver quality education, therefore, all courses of the university is globally equivalent.
Though Nepal Open University is a public university, the university itself does not have any physical infrastructure till now. Now, the university has been running from a rented building in Patan, Lalitpur.
This year the government had allocated about Rs. 140 million to construct its own building at Sano Thimi, VC Sharma said. The university will announce bid soon for the construction of the building, Sharma added.
Though the university has been running courses through online, it has not been able to take examination from online system.
“In lack of strong monitoring mechanism, we have been conducting final examination as other universities conduct but assessment examinations are conducted online, Registrar Dhakal said.
Likewise, the Open University has not introduced practical based subjects like engineering, and medicine. 

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