Digital Education Effort in Nepal Fights Girls' Education Gap - KOTA Territory News

Digital Education Effort in Nepal Fights Girls' Education Gap

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SOURCE Waterford Institute

New School Computer Lab Helps English Language Learners, Supports Girls' Education

KATHMANDU, Nepal, May 1, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Students at a school in Kathmandu, Nepal started their school year this week with a new computer lab and technology literacy program thanks to a multi-group nonprofit partnership.

Waterford Research Institute is a nonprofit research center dedicated to providing every child with the finest education through the development of high-quality educational models, programs and software.

Hands in Outreach, a nonprofit educational sponsorship program for impoverished children in Nepal, is working with Lalitpur Madhyamik Vidyalaya (LMV) schools to build a new elementary school. A new computer lab – built with the help of the Intel Education Service Corps and equipped with Waterford Institute's adaptive, early learning curriculum – is a critical part of that project.

"We want to use technology as a catalyst to improve English language learning," HIO's Director Ricky Bernstein said. "English is the curriculum language and language of commerce, but it's not the language many students hear and use at home in Nepal. It's really a leg up for these kids to be able to speak English better."

LMV's students will use Waterford Early Reading, a computer-based complete language arts curriculum for young learners. Starting with the basics, Waterford Early Reading adapts automatically to give each student a learning experience that's focused on his or her exact needs – making it ideal for all levels, including students learning English as a second language.

In Nepal, girls typically have less access to educational resources and opportunities than their male peers, making them 22 percent less likely to be literate, according to nonprofit reports. For this reason, HIO sponsors low-income girls and young women, paying their school costs in hopes of helping them become independent, self-reliant citizens. Most of the families HIO sponsors are headed by single, illiterate mothers who earn on average about $250 per year working as laborers and domestic helpers. Their daughters are often the first in their family to go to school.

To help make the LMV computer lab a reality, HIO applied to work with the Intel Education Service Corps. IESC sends Intel employees from all over the world to developing countries to work with non-governmental organizations to support the deployment of Intel Education Solutions for disadvantaged children.

Intel believes that technology can be instrumental in advancing student success around the world. To support the LMV school and Hands in Outreach, five Intel employees from Folsom, California with outstanding technical and training skills spent an estimated 200 hours each to prepare and deliver a two-week training program in Kathmandu for the teachers and students of LMV. The team also helped set up the new computer lab, troubleshoot technical issues and plan for the long-term sustainability of the program.

To track the success of the project, Waterford will help HIO use reporting tools to assess student's progress and the overall efficacy of the program.

For more information on the LMV school project or how you can work with HIO to sponsor Nepali students in need, visit http://www.handsinoutreach.org/.

About Waterford
Waterford Institute is a nonprofit research center that creates personalized cloud-based instruction through award-winning curriculum, content and assessment for children aged Pre-K to 2nd grade. As a nonprofit, Waterford is uniquely focused on providing accessibility, equity and excellence for our youngest learners to position them for a lifetime of learning and success. For more information, visit www.waterford.org or call 801-349-2200.

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