Kathmandu, March 25, 2018: We often condemn that Nepali education system lacks practicality which is required in the cognitive development of children. However, actions speak louder than words and yes; Yaseem Rana and Bibek Pandit, two Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) undergraduate students have somehow proven it. With the aims of developing learning habits and indulging students’ interest in technology- mechanical engineer student, Rana, and computer science student, Pandit created a program for 7th-grade students of Caribbean School, Lalitpur in their vacation.
Their purpose was to contribute to the Nepali education system. To achieve this they organized five sessions with the aim to bring positive change in the school students. Their initial action was to identify the student’s interests and build on these. Rana shared, “There was difficulty in rapport building, for which we even had to distribute chocolate to the students”They provided books in an attempt to encourage increased reading amongst the students. During the project, it became apparent to Rana and Pandit that students lacked aims and many simply aimed to become what their parents wanted for them. Rana added, “Reading habits don’t really exist in Nepal, at least not outside of textbooks. To tackle this issue, we planned to arouse students’ curiosities by reading parts of short stories to them and challenging them to finish the story themselves.”
After the five sessions were completed, they observed various positive impacts. As a result of the project, the students have formed a robotics club in the school. This club allows the students to use their free time productively and introduces new ideas to students, opening up opportunities to them in the future. Rana added, “We have given them certain tips to work on robotics and will also be there to guide through the internet.”Reflecting on the project Pandit added that they would like to work in more remote areas but the network availability and access to the areas are current issues. Pandit added, “Due to lack of network and access in the remote area of a country where we could initiate and work on our project. But we will surely look forward to work in the remote area too.” Both Rana and Pandit were given fund of six thousand dollars (around 6 lakh) each to resource the project. MIT provides fund and different departments offer resources too. Therefore, in collaboration with Miteri club of Nepali students at MIT, “We can conduct such projects effectively and efficiently”, shared by Pandit and Rana.