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29 November 2014

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 November 29, 2014
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Project Title: MeroStudy Supplementary E-learning Platform for Public Educational Institution: Bridging Missing Links of Educational Improvement in Nepal

1. Introduction
Nepal comprehends two types of education system characterized by wide disparity between them. With a few notable exceptions, many private schools have become money-making enterprises, characterized by huge investments and many public schools have become factories for producing low-quality manpower. As per S.L.C. exam results of 2014, the pass rate for private schools was 93.26 percent while only 28.19 percent students from public schools managed to get through. There is a need of support to governmental educational system in bridging the gap. In higher secondary education too, a total only 40% passed in regular category as per grade 11 HSEB results in 2014. Overall literacy rate of Nepal is low (65.9% for people aged 5 years and above) in comparison to that with rest of the world. All these intrinsic facts calls for the immediate enhancement of quality of education for all in Nepal with inclusive education approach like the proposed supplementary e-learning platform. This e-learning platform with easy-to-access materials, accessible to all, will primarily benefit students from public institutions since the module will be designed based on their curriculum that mostly require the platform and will be the immediate beneficiaries.

2. About HEMS-Nepal
Health and Environmental Management Society, Nepal (HEMS-Nepal) is a non-profit oriented organization dedicated towards various educational, social, environmental and health issues. HEMS-Nepal has promoted child education and made an attempt for enriching the society with various adult education programs. At the school level, it has laid foundation stones for various educational clubs.

3. Proposed MeroStudy e-learning platform features
As a course management system, MeroStudy software platform is designed to help create quality online courses and manage learner outcomes. For such e-learning systems, students need only a browser (e.g., IE, Firefox, Safari) to participate in the MeroStudy course. User will be the students, teachers with and without editing permissions, course creators and administrator.

Benefits will include a new web presence. The site will contain full contents of user requirements. The website will be hosted on HEMS-Nepal web servers and all information will be up to date and optimized for performance and search engines. The website will then be enabled to refer to the user category including academic institutions and/or academic/non-academic personnel including teachers, author students/teachers/managers to web site to access information as well as make changes to the website when they feel necessary.
Along with formal curriculum and academic courses, the platform will also incorporate non-formal, occupational as well as vocational education contents. HEMS-Nepal will seek such materials through voluntary donation, campaigning and collaboration from various stakeholders. There will be strict consideration of the copy-write issues as well as ethical and other responsibilities. Advertisement posting will be strictly controlled. Once the access is given to various users, the administration is yet obliged to supervise the contents of the site.
The MeroStudy platform includes functionalities especially for study, where user can easily display academic information from websites. Key features will include easy display, integrated appointment, event management system, integrated google maps. The integrated e-learning feature, also called an e-learning software platform has several features which can be used in many types of situations as education, training, development, and vocational courses. Some typical features include assignment submission; easy files upload and download; online news and announcements; wiki and so forth. Course management will include assignments, course reports, choice, forum, lessons etc.

4. Proposed e-learning platform development strategies/steps
The proposed e-learning platform will be catered as per specific requirements. HEMS-Nepal will try to seek collaboration from the Ministry of Education, Universities and other stakeholders in the primary phase. The co-ordination in the 2nd phase includes formation of group for extensive campaigning for the pursuit of contents. After successful collaboration with the required stakeholders, content selection, and the formation of proper team of appropriate expertise, e-learning platform will be developed. Monitoring, evaluation, supervision, contents seeking and content development will be continued progressively.

5. Access and user control
The positive aspect of this e-learning platform development will be the open source accessibility to the contents. Any Nepali student 13 years or above, will be able to register for e-learning opportunity from home with the availability of internet. With the process of registration followed by verification, the username and password will be made available to the user, sent through post which will take the tentative period of 2 weeks. After once being logged in, the user will be able to access the contents for indefinitely long period of time.

6. Estimated time
The platform will be fully developed and operated within 3 years, starting from the development of proposal. It would be successively followed by interaction and collaboration seeking from the requisite stakeholders, contents seeking, review, development, monitoring and evaluation which will be continually supervised and upgraded by the administrator time and again.

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