THT 10 YEARS AGO: Experts for more use of ICT in education

Kathmandu, October 5, 2005

Internet was introduced in Nepal over a decade ago, but its use in educational sector is still negligible. Lack of infrastructure and manpower and the governments’ indifference to Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector, have contributed to the slow development of Internet services in Nepal, speakers at a programme, ‘Use of Internet in education: Challenges and Opportunities,’ said. President of Nepal Teachers’ Association Keshav Bhattarai said leadership, willingness and vision were necessary for the development of ICT, but we lacked all three in Nepal, he said. Tika Bhattarai, an educationist, highlighted the lack of infrastructure to disseminate information in Nepal. He urged the government to adopt guidelines to make the distribution of information over the Internet systematic and useful. There was virtually no use of ICT in teachers’ training programmes, said Babu Ram Adhikari, the president of Teachers’ Union. “Development of Internet is important at a time when the basic needs of education are difficult to fulfil,” he said. We did not not have the manpower, the resources or the infrastructure to bridge the digital divide between the urban and rural population, he added. “Internet was introduced in Nepal in 1994 and since 1997, it has been available to general public with ease. Computer and Internet have only been used, by and large, for database management.

Customs office to be shifted

Biratnagar, October 5, 2005

The government is planning to shift the Biratnagar-based customs office some three kms away from the present location. The government plans to shift the customs office, situated near Jogbani in India. Due to narrow roads in the area, people are facing difficulties. Three years ago, the Indian government had proposed to the Nepali government to shift the office from the present place. The Indian government had also assured to provide help for setting up the essential physical infrastructure while the Nepali government was to provide essential lands. According to international agreements, customs office should be far from any market area. The Indian government has also requested shifting of the customs office in Nepalgunj, Bhairahawa and Birgunj from the present place. Three months ago, there was an agreement between the Nepali and Indian government to shift the four customs offices three kms away from the present locations. The agreement was signed by the finance secretary Bhanu Prasad Acharya and Indian ambassador to Nepal, Shiva Shankar Mukharji, according to Biratnagar-based customs office. According to the proposal, the office is going to shift to Budhanagar Village Development Committee (VDC). This VDC is situated three kms from the present customs office.