August 30, Kathmandu, Kathmandu University School of Arts has completed all its Spring 2020 semester academic activities. The semester commenced just before the government imposed lockdown that began on 23rd March.
Immediately after the government announced the lockdown to minimize the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the School switched into the virtual mode of teaching and learning to engage students with the pre-planned learning activities, keeping the academic calendar and the curriculums intact.
"We could sum up all our academic activities on time as scheduled, thanks to the support of all our faculties and staff, and the participation of the students", says Professor Dr. Sagar R. Sharma, the Dean of School of Arts.
According to Sharma, the university's familiarity of using communication technology in education and the faculties' experience of making uses of multimedia in the classrooms for regular classes in the past has made it possible for the School to complete all the academic activities even during such time of the unforeseen crisis.
"We use our own E-learning site for an asynchronous mode where students can find learning materials, submit their assignments and participate in examinations", said Dr. Sudhamshu Dahal, Assistant Professor of Media Studies at the school. “For delivering lectures live, we use all the available and open platforms like Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Jitsi Meet, and Skype, and students were made engaged in learning on the school's own Moodle platform and Google Classroom.”
To address the immediate needs of continuing teaching and learning, Kathmandu University’s Academic Council convened an emergency meeting immediately after the government imposed lockdown and formed a committee for Kathmandu University Electronic Learning Forum (KUELF) to formulate a comprehensive, student-focused, and technology-friendly policies and strategies. KUELF came up with the policy, strategy, and guideline as an immediate response to the current crises and for medium to long term teaching and learning at the university.
To ease the access to online teaching and learning and other education resources the university has also been providing students with free of cost data-packages via NTC and Ncell to ensure their uninterrupted participation in the academic activities. The university has also been upgrading its technological capacities for the systemic enhancement of teaching and learning.
According to the Dean of the School, the online classes for the next semester will begin from September 15 for all the students except the first year. The School has also called for new admissions for the Fall 2020 semester in its different undergraduate programs. The new applicants can join their classes from mid-November after completing their admission process. Kathmandu University, especially the School of Arts, has always been successful in maintaining its academic calendar and conducting all the academic activities on time as scheduled, despite facing several crises induced by natural disasters and pandemic situations.