Palpasa Shrestha is an undergraduate student, who is pursuing a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) at St. Xavier’s College (Kathmandu University). She is an active member of society, who is passioned about writing blogs and articles on social issues. Therefore, she frequently needs to search for data as part of her research in order to better understand the social context of Nepal.
What do you see as the main challenge of Nepal's education system in terms of training students to use and analyze data?
The education system in Kathmandu and that of a few other cities in the Valley does not represent Nepal as a whole, so is not possible to draw conclusions that would apply to the entire country. A handful of educational institutions in the country have focused on the use of data for academic purposes and have the appropriate supporting environment in terms of teaching staff with the relevant skillsets, access to popular data software programs and computers and handbooks on data analysis. Most institutions fail to see the need of data while also lacking the resources to enable students to use and analyze data properly.
Before knowing the Nepal in Data portal, how did you search for data?
The whole process of searching data was complex and nerve wrecking. Whether it was to find out simple data for a presentation or a term paper, I would have to visit at least 5 different websites and even newspaper articles at times. The websites of the Central Bureau of Statistics, the Informal Sector Service Center (INSEC) and few other websites were available but going through them to find data was a very time consuming exercise.
After knowing about the Nepal in Data portal, what has changed in the way you search for data?
The Nepal in Data portal has definitely helped me to finish my work more efficiently. I only need to open one tab, type in my criteria of interest (such as Social and Human Development, Sustainable Development Goals etc.) and the data is there. Everything I need in one page. Much easier than opening multiple tabs and searching through multiple websites isn’t it?
What features do you like most of the Nepal in Data portal?
Nepal in Data is a portal that is a small world in itself. This is something which I like about Nepal in Data. The fact that the data is presented in more than one form along with time period and location makes this portal very convenient to me.
As a student, what message would you like to give to your friends or other students regarding the importance of data and the use of the Nepal in Data portal?
As a student of Social Work, I see the use of data in terms of its importance for research and the writing of academic papers and my thesis. Data are the fact and figures that act as concrete measure of reality. While qualitative research is important, it is quite necessary that one includes data to make any research equally quantitative and numerical. Likewise, I find that using data makes any subject more interesting and realistic. And what better method to acquire all this information than from the Nepal in Data portal?