Why Nepal’s Current Online Learning Tools Aren’t Enough

Lizzie Ottenstein
Shreejana Mainali
A student getting frustrated due to lack of adequate tools for online learning.

Online education, previously not a priority for most Nepali schools, has become mainstream because of COVID-19. In the midst of lockdown, institutions are forced to teach online, steadily adapting to the new normal using tools like Zoom and Google Meet. 

While they may solve short term problems, these video conferencing apps won’t defy the long term challenge of online education in Nepal. In an ongoing effort, teachers and administrators are trying their best to adapt to and deliver quality online education from screens, and so far the process has been doable but not seamless. A total reliance on these free online learning tools will be insufficient in the long run. Here’s why. 

Nepali students face problems like unstable internet connection, lack of proper technical infrastructures, piles of unorganized digital content, and assessments without followable instructions. These circumstances have created a digital divide across the nation. 

Students will thrive from a balanced and blended learning experience. As remote classes continue, a mixed and comprehensive platform for learning will be necessary for better performance throughout the semester.

Students want schools to consider things like the availability of devices, availability of study spaces, internet connection, and supportive families. Before the pandemic, most students relied on the school’s or their rented apartments’ internet access, but since the lockdown most students have migrated back to their villages and hometowns that don’t have such access. Schools shouldn’t assume all students have the resources to go online and stay in front of screens on a daily basis. Students need a learning experience where they’re not required online at all times during the day and can adopt self-paced studying using downloadable resources.

In an effort to solve these issues, there’s an urgent need to develop a fully digitized learning infrastructure to develop a sustainable and successful online learning experience. Schools lack time and resources to build a digital learning platform from scratch, especially during these unprecedented times. Here are a few things administrators ought to consider about online education. 

The free versions of applications such as Zoom have time limits, limits on the number of participants, scheduling and scaling problems, and getting past these limitations requires expensive premium plans. Additionally, educational institutions using distributed applications to run their schools are having a difficult time tracking and managing data: they must keep track of Student Information System, Learning management system, grades, assignments, attendance, and ERPs, and are forced to do so by juggling between software systems.

The challenge ahead is not how to use video conferencing apps but about reinventing the online school experience altogether. Fuse Classroom, an AI-enabled, centralized, and comprehensive platform, does exactly this. It’s a collaborative space created with students in mind, combining state-of-the-art artificial intelligence with mobile application technology. It can conduct live online classes and also run all operations outside the classroom with advanced integrated systems. 

Most importantly, it creates a blended learning experience by incorporating both collaborative and independent learning through accessible online and offline resources. 

The Fuse Classroom mobile app allows students to access classes and videos from anywhere, delivering a kind of flipped classroom. Students can front-load course materials outside class and then use live classes to learn the application of content through active interaction.

Not only this, students are able to receive personalized learning like never before, communicate with instructors, and connect with the entire school community without bouncing between applications. With more than 100 cataloged features equivalent to SIS, LMS, CMS and ERP, the platform is multifunctional, versatile, and intuitive. Instructors and administrators also benefit and have assistance from machines to scale and build strategies that guide them towards best attaining their institution’s goals. 

We believe Fuse Classroom can solve the tool insufficiency problem and serve as the long-term solution to Nepal’s online education challenges bringing about a paradigm shift in Nepal’s digital education system.