NTA to set up IT labs in 1,000 public schools

Published On: July 15, 2019 03:30 AM NPT By: Muna Sunuwar  | @TheMunaSun

Each lab will have computers, printer, surveillance system, UPS system

KATHMANDU, July 15: Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) is planning to set up information technology (IT) labs in nearly 1,000 public high schools across the country by the upcoming fiscal year 2019/20.

The NTA has received bid proposals from three companies -- Aankhu Enterprises Pvt Ltd, Balaju; World Distribution Nepal, Kathmandu; and Obsi Max Nepa JV -- to set up the labs.

After evaluation of their bid proposals, the NTA -- the telecom sector regulator -- will select the eligible companies to supply, deliver and install equipment in the IT labs, according to an NTA official. "It will take a maximum of two months to sign contract with the eligible bidder,” NTA Director Min Prasad Aryal told Republica.

The selected contractor will have to set up labs in all 1,000 schools within six months of signing the contract. The project will be completed within FY 2019/20, said Aryal.

According to the NTA, each school will get up to 24 computers, a projector, a multi-function printer, a set of surveillance system, a set of online UPS and a power distribution unit. "The number of computers that a school will get depends on the number of students," Aryal said, adding: "The project is estimated to cost around Rs 3.6 billion."

The NTA plans to install solar energy system to power computer and accessories in schools that do not have electricity supply.

After installing equipment, the selected contractor will also be responsible for training the manpower to operate the labs. Aryal said that the contactor will have to organize Training of Trainers (TOT) at one site in each district.

NTA had received applications to set up IT labs from more than 2,000 schools. It will select 930 schools after evaluating their applications.

While NTA will install equipment and train trainers, schools will have to manage skilled manpower to operate the lab, make its premises IT-friendly, and provide a furnished room to set up the lab. The schools are expected to make maximum use of the equipment and the lab for educating students, according to Aryal.The project aims at minimizing existing gap between public high schools and privately-owned high schools in usage of IT, and formulating various programs and activities to promote e-school, e-learning and e-education modalities.

“The government has introduced 'Digital Nepal' campaign in sectors such as health, drinking water, energy, commerce and industries where there is high use of ICT. Our aim is to utilize ICT in the education sector for skill enhancement, training the local community and utilizing teachers for quality education.”

The Information Communication Technology (ICT) Policy, 2015 presents a comprehensive national vision to create foundational groundwork for an overarching vision of 'Digital Nepal' by enhancing the quality of education through trainings using ICT, formulation of various programs and activities to promote the e-school, e-learning and e-education modalities and efficient implementation of 'ICT in Education Master Plan'.

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