“Strengthening Problem Based Learning in South Asian Universities” (PBL South Asia) is a capacity building project in higher education co-funded by the Erasmus+ program of the European Union. The three-year project started in November 2018. Aalto University (AU) is the coordinator while Kaunas University of Technology (KTU), Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IITB), Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore (IISC), Royal University of Bhutan (RUB), Asian Institute of technology and Management (AITM), Sagarmatha Engineering College (SEC), Nepal Engineering College (nec) and Kathmandu University (KU) are other partner higher education institutions (HEIs) of the project. The project aims to integrate sustainable development, social responsibility and human rights into educational practice particularly in higher education in Nepal, Bhutan and India through problem based learning (PBL).
Different activities like workshops, trainings, student cases, curriculum design, and dissemination events are designed and executed together or individually by the partner HEIs to achieve the project goals. The project activities have not been executed smoothly for the last one year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In this regard, Sagarmatha Engineering College organized an online session for its faculties with the objective of providing information on the ongoing capacity building projects in the institution with the focus on the “PBL South Asia” project.
Thirty-two full-time and visiting faculties of SEC participated in the online session. The session was conducted and recorded by Mr. Sudeep Lamsal. Mr. Avinash Dhital, project specialist, from Aalto University also attended the session. Mr. Avinash Dhital gave an overview of the PBL South Asia project in the beginning of the session. Then, Mr. Ramesh Shrestha, the Principal of SEC, delivered a presentation on “Erasmus+ Program and Projects”. Mr. Shrestha gave an overview of “Erasmus+ Program” and the types of capacity building projects in “Erasmus+ Program”. Also, he provided a glimpse of “PBL South Asia” project in Sagarmatha Engineering College in his presentation. Dr. Rabindra Raj Giri, an Associate Professor in the Civil Engineering Department of SEC, then delivered the second presentation on “Problem Based Learning (PBL): What, Why & How?”. The objective of this presentation was to motivate the faculties to understand PBL and integrate the pedagogy in their courses. Dr. Giri in his presentation focused on three basic questions: (a) What PBL is, (b) Why PBL is important, and (c) How PBL can be implemented in SEC. These three questions are, in fact, very important for all the faculties and students who are new to this pedagogy. The two presentations were followed by a “Question and Answer” session. Some of the attendees put forward their queries and views in the session. Finally, Mr. Sudeep Lamsal gave a closing remark before the session was ended.
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