The nationwide lockdown, in its second month now, has affected all sectors of the country including education. To stop a possible spread of COVID-19, Secondary Education Examination (SEE) and Plus-two exams were also postponed indefinitely. Kiran Adhikari, Founder at Ejalo Academy, shares that the current situation has demotivated students, especially those who were preparing for SEE and Plus-two exams from studying and says, “To help these students, we established Ejalo through Facebook and website on March 15.”
Adhikari, who is currently pursuing his Master’s in Germany, along with his team of seven members, has been running the academy daily and organising daily exam quizzes, rapid fire quizzes, online video courses, Facebook live career counselling from experts in different fields, weekly creative challenges and so on, for free. He says, “We are working together with admins of Facebook SEE group (which has 100,000 members) which has helped us a lot in gaining participation. We have around 2,000 students registered in our platform, while our posts are reaching around 30,000 users every week, a big fraction of which are SEE
As per him, in the long term the Academy hopes to create a digital educational platform that focusses on students from SEE to Bachelors level and assisting them with tons of video content and interactive quizzes and exams on an open source.
Manasha Acharya from Sindhuli, a Class X student is one of the many students using Ejalo Academy’s platform. She says, “I participate in academic and creative quizzes organised by Ejalo regularly while I have been also using the platform to revise things learnt in my class. This platform has helped me to keep connected with my academics which I’m sure will be beneficial during my exams.”
Samir Ahamad a student from Tanahun is preparing for his SEE, finds Ejalo Academy a trustworthy online learning platform where students like him have been getting rewards for doing well in quizzes which has further motivated them to learn. “From career counselling to organising contextual academic quizzes and exams, this Internet platform has proved fruitful for students like me from all across Nepal.”
Similarly, Krinjal Learning, an educational platform created two months ago with the model of the content-tutor model, was also started free of cost with its first course ‘Basic Python Course in Nepali’, which is a computer programming language course. Founder and CEO Kshitij Raj Lohani, who is also the winner of the government’s National Youth Award 2014, is based in the Silicon Valley, USA and shares, “Currently we are teaching 1,800 students at once with 10 tutors through our website.” He adds, “Also, if one needs extra help, one can always jump in a Zoom call and get help immediately.”
As per Lohani, the main blockage in online education at present is the format which heavily depends only on video and no additional support once the student is stuck with queries. He says, “In real world, teachers and friends are there to help students, but most online educational platforms lack that. That’s why I always wanted to make a platform where one can ask questions whenever one has queries, while a group of tutors will readily answer those.”
Bipin Thapa from California considers Lohani to be his mentor and shares, “Krinjal is a platform which is connecting people who want to learn Python for free. It is great as anyone from around the globe can come and learn these skills online which helps one in his professional career.”
Lohani informs the Krinjal team is also working on a machine learning based platform that can actually change the course content/questions as per the students’ progress. He says, “My future plan is to create jobs in Nepal by hiring more tutors.”
A version of this article appears in e-paper on May 13, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.