Science and Education - Report on Seminar

A brief report on the Asian regional seminar on the generation of experimental materials and learning modules for science education
24-25 October 2002
New Delhi, India

This forms one of the components of the IAP activity on science education in which the contribution of INSA was to organize the Asian meeting to share the experience and expertise of different countries in this region. The meeting was attended by mainly Asian countries and included participants from Africa, Europe and the American continents.

The major points that arose out of this meeting are as follows:
i) There is a growing concern in all countries about science education and a decreasing trend in enrolment for science-based subjects
ii) The absence of experimental modules for science eduction is keenly felt and there is a clear need to regionalize experiments depending on the country and its culture
iii) Many countries and their governments have shown a keen desire to build up a broad science base
iv) The countries also recognized the importance of science education in the capacity building of human resources
v) The importance of languages in science education was stressed by some countries
vi) The Indian experience as outlined by three speakers, gave an overview of the complexity of the education pattern, positive measures taken by the Government, non-governmental agencies and individual groups working in the area of science promotion and science movements
vii) There is a general feeling that science education should start at an early stage and the spirit of enquiry should be inculcated in young children
viii) Memorizing and recall is considered obsolete and the basic principles of sciences as to Why and How should be the motivating principle.

The details of the different presentations at the seminar will be brought out by INSA and a working plan will be circulated to participants. This will then be presented formally to IAP. Many countries like Jordan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Cuba, Mongolia and others participated in the panel discussion.
Professors Y. Quéré and B. Alberts made some interesting observations on the IAP seminars.