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Pakistan participates in World moot on Inquiry-Based Science Education

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Islamabad, June 07, 2012 (PPI-OT): Pakistan Science Foundation (PSF) Chairman Prof. Dr. Manzoor H. Soomro represented Pakistan in International Conference titled “Developing Inquiry-Based Science Education (IBSE): New Issues – The Roles of Assessment and the Relationship with Industry”, held in Helsinki, Finland on May 30-June 1, 2012.

This Conference was organized by the Global Network of Science Academies (IAP), ALLEA All European Academies, Finish Academy of Science and Letters and Finland’s Science Education Centre, LUMA. The Conference brought together different aspects of policy and practice that influence the development of IBSE.

The Conference Programme was based on two main themes related to the Formative and Summative Assessment of Students and the Relationship between Science Education and Industry. Different countries shared their experiences to enhance their understanding about science education techniques.

IBSE programme, La main à la pâte (hands-on) was launched in 1996 by French Academy of Sciences with the support of the National Institute for Pedagogical Research and the École normale supérieure (Paris) and French Ministry of Education. This programme has also met a large interest outside the France.

The experience and expertise of La main à la pâte have been spread among more than 35 countries including China, Brazil, Argentina, Belgium, Cambodia, Cameroon, Chile, Colombia, Egypt, Germany, Morocco, Senegal, Serbia, Slovakia, and Vietnam. Recently, the inquiry-based learning approach has been started in Afghanistan, Iran, Mexico, Peru, Spain, Switzerland, Togo and United States of America.

In the Helsinki Conference, the PSF Chairman gave a presentation on “IBSE in Pakistan–Issues in Implementation and Student Assessment”. He said the IBSE Programme was initiated in Pakistan with the support of French Embassy in 2010. This programme focuses on the teaching of science in primary schools to develop the questioning attitude and critical thinking among children during experiments.

Dr. Soomro told the conference that PSF and the Academie des Sciences, France signed a MoU of cooperation for the improvement of teaching and learning sciences at Primary and Secondary levels through an inquiry-based approach. Mr. Jean Salencon, the then President Academie des Sciences, France and Dr. Manzoor Hussain Soomro Chairman PSF had signed the MoU on behalf of their respective organizations in Paris on December 15, 2010, he added.

He said PSF has conducted three workshops for teachers to promote IBSE. The PSF Chairman said understanding of issues and problems would help in improving the IBSE programme and run it effectively. PSF is working with schools, education departments and NGOs for implementation of IBSE across Pakistan.

The Chairman said the teachers and students participating in IBSE workshops were their resource persons and these master trainers were training other teachers to teach in classroom more effectively by using IBSE techniques. Dr. Soomro said feedback on IBSE Programme from students and teachers was imperative to improve the teaching and learning system.

A poster on IBSE in Pakistan also remained on display for three days during the Conference.

After presentations, the representatives of different countries formulated their recommendations to improve IBSE.

Dr. Soomro held a special meeting with Prof. Pierre Lena, team leader La main à la pâte, from Academie des sciences, France, to review progress of IBSE in Pakistan and discussed future collaborative programmes.

The PSF Chairman also held sideline meeting with team leaders from UK, USA, Australia, Finland and representative of European Union and discussed the possibilities of collaboration with them to improve IBSE. On way back to Pakistan during stopover at Frankfurt Dr. Soomro visited German organizations involved in IBSE and discussed ways and means of collaboration with them.

For more information, contact:
Pakistan Science Foundation
1-Constitution Avenue,
Sector G-5/2, Islamabad
Pakistan
Tel: + 92 51 9202469-70
Fax: + 92 51 9202468

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