NELTAChoutari, Networking and Nepalese Teachers

Kamal Poudel

Until about two decades ago, information technologies that were widely available in the world outside were either out of reach for us in Nepal, or we lacked the basic skills needed for using what was available. Even teachers did not have access to teaching materials on the Internet, not to mention the possibility of using it in their classrooms. But in the last ten or so years, there has been a quantum leap in the availability, access, and popularity of information technologies in Nepalese education.

Students directly benefit from the access to knowledge and professional development opportunities that their teachers have, and in the long run the society benefits from those resources and opportunities. From that perspective, teachers are the vanguard of social change. The incredible development in the information technology field has brought all of us quite close that we can find our entire sporadically scattered friends within our room. The new discovery of science and technology have always some pros and cons, and it will be the job of teachers to select the texts appropriately, and use them to maximally benefit the students. The dark sides of the new technology should be left in the dark world itself, and encourage the students to move towards the world of self-enhancement. The development in the societies always gives birth to new cultures, and to my belief, cultures are as dynamic as language, and thus they are prone to change all the time. The new generation people (in this context: present day students) are quite likely to adopt and adapt the new cultures as they are truly native to them. In this context, although the elder generation people (in this context: present day teachers) are immigrant to the newly developed culture, they are required to acclimatize themselves to the new climate or say the cultures developed by the IT. Not only this, they also need to enhance their pace so as to meet the students and be able to lead them. No modern teachers now can escape any student’s problem or question simply saying, ‘well, I am not quite aware of technology things….’ The students are very likely to feel underprivileged to be taught by these types of teachers as they do not get the sufficient learning materials and resources from their teachers. Their expectation is marked with newness and fast pace. The newness can be in the field of using language, for example, as the new culture leads the people to change their linguistic behavior as well. We can refer to this as a kind of paradigm shift in teaching and learning. Along with the pace of modern life, the pace of learning has naturally had the quantum leap.

Public media like BBC concentrates on the value of IT and spells that fame in the modern world can be doubled or easily be enhanced by means of the use of technology. A newly published book or article can be read by millions of readers immediately after the click on ‘upload’, which makes it easier for the the contributors to be attracted by those readers. This positively encourages the beginners to upgrade and update themselves, and thus will always be in such a world where they cannot stop browsing, uploading, collecting materials and be connected in the wider world.

Considering this as significant factor to change the life-style of teachers and the dire-need of the present day world, we have been encouraging our readers, teachers to come to the world of information technology, and thus be connected with the rest of the world. We have the principle of ‘learn and let learn’.  With the motive of empowering Nepalese teachers (ourselves), NELTA is committed to create the new ways of teaching and learning. For this, would like to invite you all English teachers and be the part of NELTAChoutari, and help the Choutari finally in order to help yourselves and thus transform yourselves. Cheers NELTAChoutari anniversary!!!


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One Response to NELTAChoutari, Networking and Nepalese Teachers

  1. Praveen Kumar Yadava says:

    Kamal Sir is quite right to have the opinion that IT has made the vast world into small village. Although all the teachers are no doubt aware of the harsh reality, they hesitate or feel lazy to exploit the web based resource materials. If they do not have skills to operate computers and explore internet, they do not want to learn them thinking that they are meant to waste time and the technology does not cover ELT. Whereas, the technology has affected all the fields and ELT is not an exception.

    This is true that Nepalese ELT has been establishing the trend of developing web based resources and magazine for recent days but this is your ignorance that you (teachers) had such resources available on the web while you were students. If you have been familiar with the web materials these days, either you might have used for your own benefit or you might not have informed your students about their availability.

    The books related to ELT have been inked by almost all the foreigners and they cost highly expensive. We might have remembered our teachers suggesting us to buy foreign books. The salary we are paid in Nepal is hardly sufficient to purchase the reference materials required for us. Moreover, National Planning Commission (NPC) in Nepal has recently claimed that the national poverty level has gone down to 24.8 percent. Whereas, finding reference materials on web is very economical and cheaper for us. Therefore I have a query “Why don’t you (teachers/students) use internet to promote our Nepalese ELT Culture and enhance their understanding?”

    It is said by our grandparents that knowledge is such a wealth that cannot be either lost or theft but it is extended widely when it is properly scattered to others. It is high time that a paradigm shift in teaching and learning of English in Nepalese context is a must to maintain our pace with the pace of modern life. If we start promoting our ELT activities on based on web, we both teachers and students will feel satisfaction and happy with what we do in and out of the classroom.

    Praveen
    NELTA Birgunj

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