Fri, April 13, 2018
The annual meeting of the InterAcademy Partnership’s Science Education Programme (IAP SEP) Global Council has just concluded in Islamabad, Pakistan. The meeting, which took place on 10 April 2018, was hosted by the ECO Science Foundation (ECOSF) and the Pakistan Academy of Sciences (PAS) in collaboration with Pakistan’s Higher Education Commission (HEC).
Immediately prior to the Global Council meeting, on 9 April, IAP joined with ECOSF, HEC and PAS to host an ‘International Forum on Science Education’. The event was supported by Alif Ailan (Pakistan) and the Pakistan Alliance of Maths and Science (PAMS).
The theme of the forum was ‘Quality Science – Education at Schools: A must for quality higher education and economic development’.
Forum participants discussed what efforts should be invested to make science advance in response to the expectations of society and to address the challenges posed to human and social development, including how to develop an adequately skilled workforce to respond to future challenges and sustainable economic development.
At the close of the Forum, participants released the Islamabad Declaration which, among other things, calls on IAP member academies to lobby their national governments to establish more interactive science museums and science centres; and on industry, particularly the infrastructure and digital technology related enterprises, to assist academies and their national governments to enhance STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education using the inquiry-based science education (IBSE) approach. Such policies and initiatives would ensure the formation of the creative and innovative human capital, says the Declaration.
One Belt One Road
The events in Islamabad also gave the opportunity for the IAP SEP Global Council to organize a further session of the Working Group on the Fusion of One Belt One Road (OBOR) Civilizations School Curriculum Design (9-10 April).
The idea to develop such a curriculum for school children came from Dato Lee Yee Cheong, chair of the IAP SEP Global Council. The aim to inculcate peace and harmony through evidence-based science education for children in the light of the current conflict and increases in violence in societies, and terrorism resulting in atrocities and displaced persons.
The first session and proof of concept of the “Fusion of Civilizations” curriculum was held in Khartoum, Sudan, on 6-7 February 2017. Subsequently, an International Forum on Science Education was held in Beijing, China, on 3-4 July 2017 that was jointly organized by the IAP SEP, the China Association for Children’s Science Instructors (CACSI), the Children and Youth Science Centre of CAST (CYSCC) under the auspices of the China Association of Science and Technology (CAST), the Chinese Society for the History of Science and Technology (CSHST) and ECOSF. The forum in Beijing focused on the theme ‘The history of science education along the Belt and Road’. Subsequently, the Working Group met in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on 11-15 December 2017 and developed a framework focusing on the themes of ‘Water’ and ‘Land’.
For additional news coverage of the events in Islamabad, see:
https://nation.com.pk/10-Apr-2018/obor-to-transform- economic -social-and-sustainable-development