A discussion with Sirjan Adhikari on the power and potential of online learning at the ITCILO and beyond
Journalist. Advocate. Tech fanatic. At the age of 17, Sirjan Adhikari used his first computer. Little did he know that this was just the beginning of a transformation.
Originally from Nepal, Sirjan began his career as a journalist before moving on to academia and communication for development. “I have linkages in each and every sector,” he said.
When asked about his inspiration, he immediately thought of Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Alphabet Inc. He particularly identifies with him as a “technological optimist.”
“Innovation in technology is my passion. Whatever I do, I try to blend my work with some innovative practices using technological features,” he explains. “I love to learn about technology. I love to share what I do.”
But how has Sirjan cultivated this curiosity and passion? Lifelong learning is the key.
After implementing an ILO-supported project in Nepal, he was further interested in diving into the world of development. Sirjan pursued a Masters in the Management of Development at the Turin School of Development, where the blended learning approach perfectly suited his needs.
“The ITCILO brings professors and lecturers from different parts of the world, and that is very special,” he explained.
Even online learning courses felt like face-to-face experiences.
The e-Learning Design Lab course intrigued him.
“I saw ITCILO colleagues design online training programs in an interactive way,” he said. The unique platform and engaging approach sparked his imagination. What stuck with him the most? The creative tools, enjoyable online learning environment, and varied knowledge resources.
His budding interest in e-learning did not end there. After finishing the Master, he completed an internship at the Asian Development Bank on e-learning research for internal capacity development. Once back in Nepal, he began consulting at the Antenna Foundation, which aims to start an online learning platform for broadcasting professionals.
“E-learning is completely new in Nepal,” he explained. “When I joined the e-Learning Design Lab course, I acquired the tools to create a blueprint for the entire e-learning project.”
This course allowed him to see how e-learning modules are produced from a practical perspective and experiment with the open source tools available. Even on a small budget, it’s possible to develop long-lasting, accessible learning journeys.
Just a few months ago the Nepal Radio Lab went live and is now a resource for journalists, broadcasters, and other communications specialists.
Today, Sirjan works as an Advocacy Coordinator for Save the Children in Nepal. He continues to apply the knowledge he acquired with the ITCILO as he advises policy makers and provides capacity-building opportunities for civil society organizations and government officials.
Making interactive presentations and facilitating training programs has become part of his DNA. “The skills I gained from e-learning courses and education helped me to design learning modules and keep the audience engaged in learning activities,” he shared.
Looking forward, Sirjan aspires to help communicate policy issues and disseminate information about new skills in his sector. He plans to eventually return to academia and pursue a PhD.
Recently required to fully switch to teleworking or online classes? Take advantage of this new rhythm to explore more e-opportunities. The ITCILO’s e-Learning Design Lab is currently taking applications. Check it out.