Video Lessons for Nepali Math Curricula

By Prashanta Dhakal

Distance education is an effective way of teaching in this modern era. Video lessons for high school will be CFFN’s pilot program to help Nepali students in both urban and rural areas.  To this end, I found Khan Academy Video Lessons as the most effective way of educating people through distance education. I appreciate and admire Khan Academy’s bold initiative in online tutorials. As mentioned in the previous article, Khan Academy is a collection of online tutorials, in various fields of math and other subjects, that has demonstrated itself to be an excellent format for lesson delivery. Each video focuses on one particular concept and can be viewed in isolation from other videos. CFFN is proposing to make similar videos that are tied to the Nepali curriculum. Not only are the videos useful in isolation, they are also treated as a piece of the bigger puzzle.

For someone versed in some level of basic math, it doesn’t take long to spot slight errors in many of the textbooks used in Nepal. For example, in a Grade 10 math book I glanced through, there was a subtle mistake in the third sentence of the first chapter itself. The following was written regarding cardinality of sets: “The number of distinct elements in a set A is called cardinal number of the set.” Here, the subtlety of the language could really mislead the student. The wording suggests that a set could be composed of non-distinct elements, and that the number of distinct elements is the cardinal number of the set. It would be a grave mistake if a student understood that sets could contain non-distinct elements.

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USHA: Diaspora Youth in Academic Bridging Programmes

By Benjamin Wood

Salman Khan did something amazing. What started as a simple idea to help tutor family members has turned into a large, non-profit organization. Around the time that CFFN was starting, so was the Khan Academy, an educational foundation driven to create a “free, virtual school where anyone can learn anything.”

In the past five years, Khan Academy has created and distributed 2,500 10-minute videos of pre-university topics that are presented in a simple way that’s like having a personal tutor or teacher right beside you. The videos are presented like a virtual chalkboard designed to be the simplest, easiest way for someone to follow along, focusing on problems and the methods to solve them. While math was the original focus, Khan Academy has branched off to include physics, chemistry, computer science, critical thinking, history and finance. Ultimately, the organization wishes to have videos on all scholastic topics.

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Athabasca University Donates Twenty Laptop Computers for Initiative for Open University of Nepal

26 August, Edmonton, Alberta: Athabasca University donated twenty (20) laptop computers to NRN-Canada in support of the Initiative for Open University of Nepal (OUN) in Edmonton. The OUN Initiative is a joint effort between NRNA, NRN-Canada, Canada Foundation For Nepal (CFFN), Government of Nepal and Athabasca University to establish an Open University in Nepal.

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Alberta grant to support Open University of Nepal

The government of Alberta has awarded Athabasca University a $21,000 grant to support its efforts towards establishing an open university in Nepal. The grant was made by the Honourable Lindsay Blackett, Minister of Culture and Community Spirit, at the opening of the university’s new Academic and Research Centre on July 29th.

The grant, made under the department’s Community Initiatives Program, will support the analysis of a pedagogical model for the Open University of Nepal.

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Press Release: Open University of Nepal (OUN) Planning Workshop

A day-long Planning Workshop for the Open University of Nepal (OUN) Initiative was organized in Ottawa Citizen Hall in Ottawa on 1st August, 2011 as a part of the fourth national conference of Canadian Nepali Diaspora Organization NRN-Canada (See: Photos). CFFN, a partner organization of the initiative, was the main organiser of the workshop. Participants were representing various OUN committees, incoming and outgoing officers of NRN Canada, Canada Foundation for Nepal (CFFN), academic institutions, researchers and community leaders from Ottawa and other parts of Canada.

The meeting focused on consolidation of the progress made to date and planning for pilot academic programs for a possible launch in 2012.  The workshop was organized jointly by NRN Canada and various committees of the OUN Initiative. Dr. Drona Rasali moderated the entire workshop. At the meeting, Dr. Bhojraj Ghimire, Honourable Ambassador of Nepal to Canada emphasized the need to promote the OUN among all stakeholders as the initiative of Nepali Diaspora, which is now supported by the Government of Nepal.

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OUN at 4th National Conference of Nepalese in Canada

The Open University of Nepal Initiative will be featured in the 4th National Conference of Nepalese in Canada, to be held in Ottawa, Canada July 30 through Aug 1. Update on Open University of Nepal Initiative will be strongly respresented at the conference with a panel moderated by Dr. Kalidas Subedi of CFFN, as well as presentations by Dr. Pramod Dhakal, who had set up the OUN office in Kathmandu earlier this year, and Dr. Pamela Walsh, the Vice President of Athabasca University.

Please see the announcement below.

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Video: Math Tutorial Through Video Learning Demonstration

This is a short video demonstration of how it would be possible to create video tutorials that follow Nepalese maths curricula for grade 9 and 10. The demo, presented by Ben Wood at the 2011 CFFN AGM and by Prashanta Dhakal at the 4th National Conference of Nepalese in Canada, borrows from the Khan Academy style of knowledge distribution through low-bandwidth video.

Your logo for the Open University

“The logo of Open University Nepal aims to depict its essence — an intricate connection between Nature, Knowledge, and Human in the simplest way possible,” said Dr Pramod Dhakal, Member Secretary of Open University, to the volunteer artists and the students of  “Srijana College of Fine Arts Nepal”. When added to the early designs by CFFN’s Ben Wood, we have gathered over 30 potential logos for OUN. Please advice:

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Press Release: Open University of Nepal-NRN Resolutions

Released by NRN Task Force on Skills, Knowledge and Innovation

Source: NRN SKI

In 5 separate sessions of the SKI workshop, several papers were presented in key plenary and invited sessions by distinguished speakers in key topics. The discussion was held following the comments from the discussants and following resolutions were approved by NRN ICC. NRN SKI task force will take the resolution on board in charting a concrete course of action.

  1. Open University of Nepal
    1. The Open University of Nepal (OUN) is recognised as the Flagship project of NRN.
    2. NRNA acknowledge the long work done by Canada Foundation for Nepal and for bringing the proposal of Open University of Nepal to the NRNA through NRN SKI task force. The hard work and dedication of CFFN contributors is duly acknowledged and we hope for greater collaboration between NRNA and CFFN in advancing the OUN initiative.

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