Projects/dhading

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Abstract

The Dhading District Education Office (DEO) has started an initiative to use laptop computers to improve ICT access in remote schools and to improve the management of education information and its use for needs based resource distribution. The XO is well suited to local conditions and can meet both educational and management objectives. The XOs will be used to develop an ICT training programme for a mobile computer lab and to customise existing education management software for use in the field. This will contribute significantly to creating an open platform for both childrens' learning and education management suitable for Nepal.

Overview

Background

Dhading district stretches from the Himalayan foothills to the Tibetan border. A number of remote schools can be reached only by foot, two days walk from the district capital, Dhading Besi. Dhading DEO's ICT initiative is particularly targeting these schools with the aim of achieving the following objectives:

  1. Improve ICT access in remote schools
  2. Improve management of education information and application needs based distribution of resources

ICT Access

Local government agencies do not currently have the resources or capacity to provide and manage one computer per child in remote schools, but they do have the ability to manage one or more mobile computer labs. The small student numbers in these schools means that a small mobile lab of 10 computers could viably be used to deliver a 1-2 week ICT training programme for a large number if not all students in a school.

Education Management

The initiative also aimes to improve the mangement of school level information and its application in planning and monitoring. One of the fundamental technology problems in Nepal is the coverage and reliability of electricity and ICT infrastructure. This is a major obstacle to the development of distributed information systems. The robust design of the XO and its low power requirements make it ideal for tackling these conditions. A number of the key education management information systems (EMIS) are built on a LAMP/WAMP stack and with the development or adaption of a robust database synchronisation tool could be used in field conditions.

Project Plan

ICT Access

  • Initial planning meeting
  • Develop training programme
  • Trial training programme
  • Review training programme
  • Project review
  • Budgeting and funding
  • Mobile ICT lab teacher training
  • Launch mobile ICT Lab in 2009/10 academic year

Education Management

  • Initial planning meeting
  • User and stakeholder workshops
  • Develop user profiles and use-cases
  • Define process and software features
  • Software development, testing and user acceptance
  • Field staff training
  • Launch mobile ICT tools for data collection and reporting

Deliverables

  • ICT training programme for mobile lab in English and Nepali
  • Nepali education management software customised for use on XO
  • Robust LAMP based database synchronization tool (port maatkit to PHP?)
  • brief report is noted
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