Almost every student in Nepal has to go through the dilemma of choosing their specialisation after high school. Every year a large number of students get admitted to bridge course institutions like NAME, NIMS, VIBRANT, PEA, etc., but most of them are unsure about which field they really want to pursue in their career. They choose to linger around wasting their time and hoping to go lucky all at once.
The struggle gets worse when each and every college brags about themselves. The information provided by the colleges are not that accommodating since it includes only the positive aspect of the college ignoring the negative ones. Students get admitted based on the bluff of the colleges, and it is only later that they come to the realisation that they’ve been fooled by the colleges.
A couple of years back, I belonged to the same crowd. I still remember me and a friend of mine, roaming around places searching for different colleges, consulting with seniors and asking for suggestions and visiting various college sites to search for the best suitable college for our higher studies. But, none of the methods actually worked.
The founder of Education Hub Nepal, Mr. Gaurab Dahal. While talking about the journey of Education Hub Nepal, he shared a particular story of his friend struggling to find information about MBA courses and colleges. They had to search for each and every colleges and read the details, and even then the information provided was either false or exaggerated. According to him, it is very difficult to find the right information about academic institutions on the Internet as the information is not regularly updated. Though one can find some limited references on the Internet, the authenticity and accuracy of the information are doubtful.
As soon as Gaurab realized that this is a huge problem in the context of Nepal, he along with his two other colleagues decided to develop a website that aimed to provide the detailed information about the courses and colleges available in Nepal. It is a community-based information portal thus the normal users are responsible for updating the data.
Q: Please let us know something about you and your colleagues.
A: Education Hub Nepal was started by a team of 3 like-minded people, Gaurab Dahal, Suman KC and Vaghawan Ojha. But now the team has grown to more than 200 people. How you might wonder. Actually, the data in Education Hub Nepal are updated rapidly by guest members who want to contribute to EHN by updating the content with the latest information. After you register to the site, you can request to be a superuser. Superuser has the privilege to update the programs and colleges they chose. Anyone can become a contributor. It is all about sharing genuine information to everyone.
Q: Is the application being utilized by the number of users you had expected?
A: Not currently. But the number of users is increasing day by day. We still are in the phase of active development. We hope to reach the desired numbers of users pretty soon. Also since we’re adding/enhancing many features, we hope to be a lot more useful in upcoming days. It is just the beta release. The best is yet to come.
Q: Is it accurate to say that you are confronting some sort of struggle? If yes, what are those?
A: The main struggle is to verify the authenticity of data and to collect the data of colleges all over Nepal. We have not been able to reach sufficient number of users till now, most of the people do not know that Education Hub Nepal exists. But the good news is with the increasing number of users and contributors, the data are being updated very rapidly with genuine information. And colleges are also showing interest in participation.
Another challenge is to increase the access of Education Hub Nepal to the large number of people, both who are in the need of information, and those who can help enhance the information.One can get help simultaneously while helping other.
In a country like ours, a very small population has access to the computer. But with the advancement of technology nowadays almost everyone has access to a mobile phone. And that is why we will be soon releasing our android app too.
Q: What sort of feedbacks have you got from the users of Education Hub Nepal?
A: We are getting a good response from the user via email and our Facebook page. The thing users are liking the most is the search functionality and the clean design/interface. We have tried to remove all distractions in our search result and detail page so that users can see the exact result of what they are searching. We are also receiving inquiries about the missing colleges and programs and we are very actively adding those missing information. We hope that very soon there is going to be a great number of contributors to automate the website itself. We had collected a small list of usability issues which we fixed in no time. Feedback from the users is very important for us. We’d like to request everyone via TechLekh to check EducationHubNepal and give us a feedback about what are we missing or what improvements are needed. We’ll try to address those issues as soon as possible.
The application with everything taken into account is itself exceptionally informative. If wisely used, students can make the most of it. The design of the application is eye catching. Previously when I visited the site, it was not that alluring. But now, the team has worked quite hard to improve on the UI and the services provided by the application.
I have to admit that I was a bit disappointed to see that not all colleges were covered in the app. This clearly shows the lack of proper and sufficient information in the system. But, after learning that they are working hard to accumulate data of missing colleges and courses, I see that there’s a wider scope for the application in the days to come. The founder stated that they are also enhancing their wiki feature, and simplifying the user interface to make it even simpler. They are seeking active collaboration from institutions as well as from students in order to help make it a master source of information related to education. In near future, they are even planning to provide an interactive learning environment for various courses and exam preparations. So, all in all, it is definitely something to look forward to.
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