NIMA Academic is a package of non-academic courses together: COO Joshi
Nima Academy celebrated its third anniversary on July 13. NIMA Academy was established in 2018 BS with an ambitious plan to digitize Nepal’s education system.
At Nima Academy, courses up to class 10 are now available and the company is preparing to offer upper level courses as well. The content of Nima Academy can also be downloaded and read offline.
In this regard, the edited excerpt of the conversation with Neha Joshi, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of NIMA Academy on various issues of NIMA Academy:
You have been campaigning for the digitization of education in Nepal for the past three years. What is Nima Academy?
NIMA Academy is an e-learning platform. It has been operating since 2018. NIMA Academy focuses on teaching and learning rather than learning management.
We are developing content to maintain the standard of education. We offer both academic and non-academic courses on the platform.
So far we have provided 40 schools. NIMA Academy has 35,000 learners and more than 5,000 instructors. It has more than 30 courses in compulsory subjects including mathematics, science and social studies.
We are now offering additional non-academy courses in it, for which we have collaborated with various institutions. We are focused on customer satisfaction.
Nima Academy has celebrated its third anniversary a few days ago. What do you plan to do in the next 3 years?
There are plans to further expand Nima Academy in the next three years. There are also plans to present content in a different way. There are many companies in the market that provide learning management systems and school management systems.
It has created confusion between the learning management system and the school management system in educational institutions. Because schools, colleges need a school management system. NIMA Academy is a learning management system, which manages the learning concept, teaching concept.
School management, student management is different. There are many companies in the market that provide learning management systems. NIMA Academy is providing teaching and learning related materials on the same platform.
The digital divide is growing in Nepal right now. What is the role of NIMA Academy in bridging the digital divide?
The digital divide was already there, not now. In the context of Nepal, its importance has been seen since the end of 2019. Our schooling culture, our teaching culture is traditional. From 2020, the school was forced to go digital, which was difficult for them but went.
2020 was uncomfortable for all of us. At that time, Nima Academy was completely free. Nima Academy has made it easy to read and teach. If only 40 percent is read and taught digitally, the digital divide can be removed in the next 10 years. We have focused not only on Kathmandu but also on the villages.
When you go to a fort, you don’t have access to internet or books. Schooling is not good either. We are focusing on such a place. The core focus of NIMA Academy is on the quality, equality, accessibility and affordability of education.
Content is also available offline at Nima Academy. Content can be downloaded to read offline from the app once using the internet.
In rural areas, students can download content on a cheap smartphone and read the content at any time. In this way, we have focused not only on Kathmandu but also outside Kathmandu.
It is said that in order to be successful, you must be successful. What challenges did you face during your three years?
In the last three years, we have faced many challenges. It was new in our country but it was not new abroad. It is difficult to bring about change. The epidemic has now brought an opportunity.
Because the market has created a need for it. In 2018 and 2019, we tried to explain the importance of digital education. We were able to explain something, but the epidemic made it easier. Although the importance of digital education has increased due to the epidemic, the importance of digital education is still not understood.
The effects of the Corona epidemic, which began a year and a half ago, are still felt. Experts have warned of a third wave. The importance of digital education has increased in the epidemic. How is Nima Academy working in such a situation?
In 2020, we trained 82 schools from Zoom to use NIMA Academy. We did all the Nima Academy courses for free last year.
Last April, we made a fee. We gave various trainings from Nima Academy to raise awareness that reading and teaching can be done in this way.
NIMA Academy plans to bring the education sector to a standard. Because there is a big difference between government schools and private schools in Kathmandu. We can’t imagine what it is like outside Kathmandu. We are working on the concept of how to standardize and make the learning experience accessible.
We have a plan to transform Nepal’s education sector. We are working with a vision of what Nepal’s education is and should be like now. In that we follow a standardization process. Adaptation and change are high in the current epidemic. Digital education is now popular in the market.
According to our plan, it could take 10 years. But in 2020, things changed dramatically. At school, parents began to embrace digital learning.
Even teachers who have difficulty using Gmail have worked on how to use Zoom and create concept notes. Looking at that, change has come that can come in 5 years.
What kind of positive impact has NIMA Academy had on Nepal’s education system?
In my opinion, NIMA Academy has made a positive impact on Nepal’s education system.
There is a standard process in which the clarity of the concept is missing. The teacher understands, but the student does not. There is a gap.
The teacher is doing his job but some students understand and some do not. Nima Academy is trying to convince all the students. We are working to get as many students as possible to read, to understand, to read, to read, to read, to read, to read, to read, to read, to read, to read, to read.
We have tried to make an impact. How we have supported it is not just a video but also a game by converting any subject into a video and playing it. We have also made a game for every topic. We also play quizzes.
We have also created games to play with our friends to know our performance. That is how we are trying to make education enjoyable. Students are also enjoying our system. Teachers have also been helped to teach.
Prolonged exposure to digital devices can affect a student’s health. How is Nima Academy working without affecting health and understanding?
Nima Academy places more emphasis on self-based learning. Due to the epidemic, traditional education has become digital to some extent. Not completely. Currently, teaching is done only from Zoom, Google Classroom. Students can read from anywhere at any time.
Nima Academy has not made the content too long. We have made a maximum of 3 minutes of video for the lower level students and 5 to 8 minutes for the upper level students.
Students should watch, understand and play a video whenever they read, so that they do not have to sit in front of their device for a long time.
We’ve created short and sweet conceptual videos and games for students to enjoy learning, play games, and understand.
We have promoted creative thinking. There is a saying that Marx should be brought by reading, but by understanding and reading, we have indirectly developed his critical thinking ability.
We focus on self-learning. Because during the epidemic we are working from home. That has led to mental problems.
Children have anxiety, eye problems and back problems. Our employees also have back and leg problems. That has become a monotonous routine. We have created content keeping that situation in mind.