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May 12, 2017

HEC organises ‘Forum on Inquiry Based Science Education’


May 12, 2017


The Higher Education Commission (HEC), Pakistan in collaboration with ECO Science Foundation (ECOSF), organised ‘Forum on Inquiry Based Science Education (IBSE)’ -- La main a la pate, to emphasise the importance of inquiry in science education and strengthening science base in schools.

National University of Science and Technology (NUST) Rector Dr. Ameer Muhammad was the chief guest of the occasion. HEC Chairman Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, Ambassador of France to Pakistan Martine Dorance, executive director HEC Dr. Arshad Ali, Member Science and Technology for Planning Commission Dr. Athar Osama, President ECOSF Dr. Manzoor H. Soomro, Campaign Director Alif Ailaan Mosharraf Zaidi and students of different schools were also present on the occasion. Chairman La main a la pate, a French organization, Professor Pierre Lena, was the keynote speaker of the forum.

In his welcome address, Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed said HEC deliberated on creating base of students in the country’s school system in order to bring about creative minds to the higher education level. “Though the main objective of HEC is to facilitate universities, however, following complaints from higher education institutions, it decided to contribute to improvement of quality at school level,” he remarked.

The deliberation led to various initiatives aimed at supporting schools through universities, he added. He maintained the HEC started the project of hand-holding of schools through universities. He shed light on the need for training of school teachers in order to produce fertile minds of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) subjects.

Urging the students to increase their interest in scientific developments, he said, the future of Pakistan depends upon them. He directed teachers to encourage students taking part in science activities.

In his keynote address, Dr. Pierre Lena termed science education a key element for the future of a nation. He paid tribute to the scientists who struggled to change the science education to bridge the gap between science education and technological discoveries. He revealed the importance of curiosity, observation, language, self-confidence and creativity in the field of science education. “Providing science education to every student is a key to understand the world, find a personal future, develop own creativity and talent, foster national development, and avoid atmosphere of world unsustainability,” he underlined.

Addressing the forum, Martine Dorance admired the role of La main a la pate in promoting science across the world. She said promoting science collaboration with Pakistan is one of the top priorities of France, as France encourages wide dissemination and development of science. She appreciated the HEC for its generous support to activities focusing promotion of not only higher education but also education at school level.

Dr. Amir Muhammad, rector of National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences (FAST-NU) said the base of education needs to be very strong to have a strong higher education. “A good quality of education at primary and secondary level lead to have a good quality of students at higher education level,” he underlined. He also stressed the need for utilizing the modern way of science teaching at all levels in addition to improvement in the examination system.

Earlier in the introductory remarks, Dr. Manzoor H. Soomro said Pakistan needs a workforce having strong foundation in STEM subjects. He said the potential of students can be channalised by promoting inquiry based science education, adding that the country’s institutions should encourage learning by doing.

Dr. Mahmood-ul-Hassan Butt, Consultant HEC urged the students to pursue four C’s i.e., curiosity, critical analysis, constructive approach and consistency in their studies in order to develop practical understanding of topics. He said three elements, including knowledge base, interactive education, and new strategies of teaching should be part of teachers training.

In his closing remarks, Dr. G. Raza Bhatti termed the forum to be a great learning opportunity for students. He emphasised that questioning is the most important part of school life. “Inquiry based education outside of educational institutions is also very necessary in the learning process,” he concluded.

The forum also included panel discussion on how inquiry based science education can be promoted in the educational institutions of the country. 



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