Enquiry-based education vital to boost learning process

Published on May 28, 2012 at 9:48 am

Enquiry-based education vital to boost learning process

ISLAMABAD - The inquiry-based science education (IBSE) is imperative to boost students’ learning process and help them in developing their strong relationship with teachers as learning is a two-way traffic.
Chairman of the Pakistan Science Foundation (PSF) Prof Dr Manzoor H Soomro said this while addressing a teachers training workshop on “Collection, Preservation and Identification of Plant Diversity”, organized by the Pakistan Museum of Natural History (PMNH) and PSF, here on Sunday.
Some 70 science teachers from public and private sectors educational institutions of Rawalpindi and Islamabad participated in the workshop organized as a part of its public education program. The workshop was aimed at imparting hands on training to teachers on techniques of plants collection and preservation as well as their identification for setting up herbaria facility in their educational institutions.
Dr Soomro said the PSF was actively engaged in promotion and popularization of science and technology in the country through a number of programmes, including funding for scientific research, Natural Science Linkage, Industry Research and Development, Science Caravans programs and Inquiry-Based Science Education Programme launched in Pakistan with the collaboration of French Embassy (IBSE).
He said under the IBSE Programme, the PSF organizes training workshops for teachers to train them as master trainers on as to how arouse students’ interest in science subject through easy to understand and interesting experiments.
The chief guest said IBSE programme is going on in 30 schools in the country. He advised the teachers to co-relate this workshop with inquiry-based science education system. He said PSF has been invited to share its experiences about IBSE in an International Conference to be held in Helsinki, Finland in the end of May.
The Chairman also urged the teachers to set up plant herbariums in their institutions so that students could easily become able to identify the plants, which are most valuable natural resource on which survival of not only human beings but entire living things depends. He said PSF and PMNH will provide all possible help in this cause as they have experts of plants sciences.
He said to promote science PSF organized International Travelling Expos on Mathematics, Environment and Chemistry in all major cities of Pakistan. Dr. Manzoor Soomro said these expos received a tremendous response from the educational institutions and thousands of students and teachers benefitted from them. The Chairman lauded PMNH efforts to organize this workshop which would not only benefit the participating teachers in their capacity-building in teaching methodologies and consequently benefit students in their educational pursuits and career building. PMNH Director General Dr Syed Azhar Hasan said PMNH is one of the leading institutions actively involved in research in natural resources and public education for their conservation and sustainable use as well as promotion of science through informal means including popular lectures, film shows, training workshops, exhibitions, competitions, seminars and symposia etc.
Dr Hasan also highlighted PMNH role in conservation of biodiversity. He said many precious species of plants and animals are facing threats of extinction and PMNH in collaboration with other stakeholders is working to mitigate this looming danger to the biodiversity on which our future depends.
He said this workshop is part of a series of programs undertaken by PMNH in connection with Decade of Biodiversity (2010-2020) celebrations declared by the United Nations to highlight importance of biodiversity and educate students and general public on their conservation and sustainable use. The Director General said teachers, who are role models for children, can play an important role in motivating students to conserve biodiversity at grassroots level. He said plants are an important source of food and water for the human beings and through their conservation problems of food and water could be addressed. Earlier, Dr Saleem Ahmad giving an introduction about the workshop said the participants will be given practical training of plants collection, preservation, identification and documentation. Dr Muhammad Khan Leghari, Director, Botanical Sciences Division, PMNH, thanked the Federal Directorate of Education, Rawalpindi Directorate of Education and heads of the educational institutions in taking keen interest in the Museum’s public education programs and indirectly playing their role in conservation of the natural resources including plants, animals, minerals, rocks, fossils and precious and semi-precious stones etc.
Later, the participating teachers were taken to the field for plants collection. During technical sessions they were imparted training on their preservation, identification and documentation. The participants were awarded certificates in the closing ceremony.

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