Student Dropouts and Non-attainment Prevention in Nepal Using GIS

Student Dropouts and Non-attainment Prevention in Nepal Using GIS

Author: 
Lokesh Ratna Shakya
Program of study: 
D.M./IST
Abstract: 
This single-case study was to explore how Geographical Information Systems (GIS) could contribute to reducing dropout and non-attainment rates in Nepal’s secondary school system. GIS specialists analyzed information collected from parents on why their school-age children either dropped out or otherwise did not attain a secondary school education. The sample size in this study was eight, which included five sets of parent(s) whose children ages 13 to 16; either dropped out or otherwise did not attend a secondary school system, and three GIS specialists. Economics, teachers, and government were three themes that emerged from the parents’ interview. Interviews with GIS specialists reveled that GIS could assist in addressing dropout and non-attainment issues. In the context of Nepal, GIS is a still a new technology. The Government of Nepal lacks adequate infrastructure in areas of human resources, training and technical resources, and the central data repository system required for the proper use of GIS. GIS specialists recommended augmenting Nepal's information technology infrastructure by implementing a sustainable Enterprise GIS, and an Educational Management Information System. This research work recommends that identification of strategic solutions for student retention issues will require a concerted effort not only by governmental leadership, but also policy-makers, and non-government community leaders. The Government of Nepal may need to play vital role in overcoming existing economic and political barriers to improve IT infrastructure. GIS technology is certain to emerge as an important tool for making a difference in the planning process for minimizing dropout rates and enhancing enrollment ratios across the country. The recognition of both a need for change and the changes required are two important themes that emerged from the research study.
Dedication: 
This research work is dedicated to the families of school-age children in Nepal who are unable to complete the full cycle of basic education-those whose children are forced to play the role of breadwinner in poverty-stricken households, and those whose voices have gone unheard.
Acknowledgements: 
I would like to first acknowledge my former chair, the late Dr. Ralph E. Johnson, for his positive encouragement at the beginning of this journey. With sincere gratitude, I also thank my chair Dr. Jodi Menees for stepping up to fill the vacant chair position and providing me much needed guidance, my committee members, Dr. Matthew Gonzalez and Subhashis Nandy, for guidance and support. My heartfelt acknowledgement goes out to Carole Stimac, who believed, encouraged, and supported me unconditionally in my pursuit of my doctorate degree. Without her continuous support and understanding, I would not have completed this milestone. She assisted me with editing, proofreading, and conceptualizing. She cheered me up with spontaneous humor during difficult times. I would also like to acknowledge my friends and colleagues for their direct and indirect support during my journey. Finally, I want to acknowledge my parents and extended family for providing continuous support, guidance, and inspiration throughout my life.