NRNs meet PM for support in open varsity bid


Himalayan News Service

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A delegation of Non-Resident Nepalese (NRN), led by Dr Pramod Dhakal, member secretary, Open University of Nepal Initiative, today met Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai to draw attention towards the opportunities and challenges faced by open universities in Nepal.

Dr Dhakal said that despite efforts to establish Open University in Nepal to cope with global competence, they were unsuccessful. “Government delay in approving the Higher Education bill is the greatest challenge in establishing Open University in Nepal,” he said adding, “We have urged the PM to take initiative to pass the bill and pave the way for open universities.”

The Canadian government in July had agreed to grant $21,000 for carrying out research to find a suitable distance education modality in Nepal. Dr Dhakal said lack of infrastructure and logistics are delaying the research. He said that with technical support of Athabasca University, an Open University of Canada, OUNI (which had set up a small office at MoE) was doing groundwork to set up the Open University in Nepal.

According to Dhakal, Bhattarai was keen to establish Open University and also assured to address their problems at the earliest.

The delegation included Shankar Panday, secretary; Janardan Nepal and Dr Laba Dev Awasthi, joint secretaries at MoE; Deependra Bahadur Kshetry, National Planning Commission member; Dr Frits Pannekoek, President, International Council for Open and Distance Education; Dr Ambika Adhikari, NRN regional coordinator for USA who is also OUNI steering committee member.

Other representatives included Dr Drona Rasali, deputy regional co-ordinator for USA; Dr Raju Acharya, steering committee member and Dr Ashok Shrestha, active member of Open University.

(Source: The Himalayantimes)