Update 004: Initiative for Open University of Nepal

Dear Supporters of Open University of Nepal (OUN) Initiative:

In our last update, we had covered progress made in OUN initiative until the end of January 2011. The six months since then have been remarkably eventful and encouraging for the OUN initiative. The highlights of this period are given here.

  1. February 10, 2011: Ministry of Education handed over the key to OUNSC office space at the Ministry of Education. Mr. Mahashram Sharma at the MoE transferred the key to President of NRNA Dev Man Hirachan who in turn passed it over to Dr. Pramod Dhakal, Member-Secretary of the OUNSC.
  2. February 23, 2011: The Higher Education Bill, which incorporates the legal provision for establishing the OUN, was tabled at the Legislative Parliament of Nepal by the Ministry of Education. Passage of this bill will make it an Act and a regulation based on the Act will clear the major legal hurdle for the OUN.
  3. February 26, 2011: The Secretariat of the OUNSC became accessible during workdays for full working hours due to contributions from Nepalese young volunteers. The Secretariat was connected with direct fiber-optic connection, courtesy of Mercantile Communications and CAN-USA. And wired and wireless connectivity inside the office courtesy of Mahabir Pun, desktop computers one by Ministry of Education, one by UNESCO Office at MoE, and two by Mr. Bhim Udas.

  4. March 4, 2011: Nepali-Canadian Community in Manitoba, Canada in collaboration with the University of Manitoba organized a dinner and information program at the University of Manitoba. Dr. Rory McGreal, UNESCO Chair and Associate Vice-President of Athabasca University attended the program as a Keynote Speaker. Two laptops were sent to OUNSC office in Kathmandu from the proceeds. Ms. Maiya Uprety took the lead for this event, and she was ably helped by other community members.
  5. March 2011: Many options for renovating the OUNSC office were considered and various bids were weighed. Finally, it was decided to renovate the office without contracting it to profit oriented firms. Technically competent individuals were directly recruited and the renovation was started under supervision of Dr. Pramod Dhakal.
  6. March 18, 2011: The OUNSC meeting created a fifth Committee, Research and Innovation Committee to be Chaired by Dr. Raju Adhikari and appointed Mr. Bhim Udas, NRN Patron, as the chair of the Institutional Structuring Committee.
  7. April 14, 2011 (BS2068/01/01): The renovation of the building was completed at a fraction of the cost estimated by outside firms and the renovated OUNSC office was opened on the Nepali New Year 2068.
  8. April 14, 2011 (BS2068/01/01): First application for funding of any kind was made for OUNI in collaboration with Athabasca University. This application was for a small international project grant from the Government of Alberta, Canada. We have just learnt that about Cdn $21,000 has been awarded to Athabasca University to help develop pedagogical program for OUN. See below for details.
  9. April 28, 2011 (BS2068/01/15): First application for more than a million dollars was made to Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) under the Partnership Program in support of OUNI in collaboration with Athabasca University, CFFN and DPRA Canada. This was first foundational undertaking to build base for future applications. We have learned that we could not win the grant this time, although the experiences will take us forward.
  10. April 28, 2011 (BS2068/01/15): First application for more than a million dollars was made to Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) under the Partnership Program in support of OUNI in collaboration with Athabasca University, CFFN and DPRA Canada. This was first foundational undertaking to build base for future applications. We have learned that we could not win the grant this time, although the experiences will take us forward.
  11. May 10, 2011 (BS2068/01/27): Ministerial Decision at the Ministry of Education makes the following decisions (1) Endorse the Steering Committee (OUNSC) formed as per the agreement of October 7, 2010, (2) Vest the authority of building infrastructure and academic program for the OUN to the OUNSC, (2) Launch programs for upgrading the academic qualification of school teachers through National Centre for Educational Development (NCED) as the first major program of OUNSC, (4) Mandate OUNCS to mobilize the resource allocated by Government of Nepal for the establishment of OUN.
  12. May 10, 2011 (BS2068/01/27): First batch of external fund arrives to NRNA Secretariat. This was the $4455 transferred through NRN-USA and contributed by many donors to the OUN through the efforts of OUN-Resource Mobilization Committee. Also a cash donation of Rs1,40,000 gets handed over to Pramod Dhakal by donor and NRNA Vice President Jiba Lamichhane for specific use of buying a motorcycle for the program.
  13. May 11, 2011 (BS2068/01/28): Ministry of Education seeks the opinion of Ministry of Finance on the decisions it made with regards to OUN initiative.Ministry of Finance and Ministration of Education exchange information to further clarify the proposition, its implications, and cost benefits.
  14. June 1, 2011 (BS2068/02/18)): Ministerial Decision at the Ministry of Finance decides to give the agreement in principle to the proposition made by the the Ministry of Education with regards to OUN initiative (as per May 10 decision).
  15. June 12, 2011 (BS2068/02/29): Ministerial Decision of the Ministry of Education proposes to take its May 10 decision on OUN initiative, and the “agreement in principle” given by the Ministry of Finance, to the Cabinet of Ministers of Government of Nepal. The proposal gets registered at the Office of the Prime Minister on June 14, 2011 (BS2068/2/31).
  16. June 22, 2011 (BS2068/03/08): Government of Nepal Cabinet of Ministers deliberates on the proposal and grants an agreement in principle for the proposal made from the Ministry of Education.
  17. July 03, 2011 (BS2068/03/19): The President of Nepal presents the Policies and Programs of the Government of Nepal to the Legislative Parliament of Nepal which includes the establishment of Open University as the priority program of the Government of Nepal.
  18. July 15, 2011 (BS2068/03/31): The budget for Year 2011-12 (BS2068-69) presented by the Minister of Finance to the Parliament of Nepal includes budget for the establishment of the Open University of Nepal.
  19. July 29, 2011 (BS2068/04/13): Government of Alberta, Canada, makes a positive decision over the application for the grant made in April 2011 and hands over $21,000.00 to the Athabasca University meant to establish the pilot program implementation mechanism for the OUN initiative.
  20. July 31, 2011 (BS2068/04/15): NRN-Canada holds a OUN Session in its fourth national Conference in Ottawa, Canada. AU Vice-President Dr. Pamela Walsh announces that the above grant was received from the Government of Alberta, Canada.
  21. August 1, 2011 (BS2068/04/16): The Academic Development Committee of the OUNSC holds the fourth Planning Meeting of the OUN initiative in Ottawa, Canada in conjunction with the NRN-Canada Conference.

We look forward to having all your active involvement to make this significant project for Nepal a success. We look forward to having your continued collaboration, support and contributions.

Sincerely,

Pramod Dhakal Member-Secretary, OUNI Steering Committee
with
Ambika Adhikari, Drona Rasali, Raju Adhikari, Mahabir Pun, and Bhim Udas

One thought on “Update 004: Initiative for Open University of Nepal

  1. Pingback: Update 005: Open University of Nepal Initiative | Canada Foundation for Nepal

Leave a Reply