France vows to exp and students science learning in Pakistan

STAFF REPORT IBD: As Pakistan has displayed its seriousness in promoting the LAAMAP – the Inquiry-Based Science Education (IBSE) Programme – in its education system with positive and result-oriented steps, France, the originator of this system, has assured to continue this programme in Pakistan, which focuses on the teaching of science in primary schools to develop the questioning attitude of children during experiments.
A review meeting and workshop on IBSE Programme, being run by Pakistan Science Foundation (PSF) in collaboration with the Embassy of France, has recently been held in Islamabad which was presided over by PSF Chairman Prof. Dr. Manzoor H. Soomro.
“The progress showed by the Pakistani teachers involved in this teaching programme is very impressive. This review meeting would help improve this programme. I appreciate the PSF team running IBSE and assure that the Embassy will continue support for the programme in future,” said French Embassys Counselor for Development and Culture Fredric Bessat during the meeting.
The meeting was also attended by teachers and students from LAAMAP associated schools.
The IBSE programme, La main à la pâte (hands-on) was launched in 1996 by the French Academy of Sciences with the support of the National Institute for Pedagogical Research and the ةcole normale supérieure (Paris) and French Ministry of Education. In addition to France, the programme has met a large interest outside 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.
The IBSE Programme was initiated in Pakistan with the support of French Embassy in 2010 as a result of signing an MoU signed between PSF and the Academie Des Sciences, France, for the improvement of teaching and learning sciences at primary and secondary levels through an inquiry-based approach to ensure dissemination of inquiry-based teaching at primary and secondary school levels. PSF has so far conducted three workshops for teachers to promote IBSE in the country.
Addressing the programme review meeting, Dr. Soomro said that a seminar on IBSE will be held in Helsinki, Finland, and from Asia Pakistan has been invited to attend the event during which different countries will share their experiences and enhance their understanding about science education techniques. He said that understanding of issues and problems would help in improving the programme and run it effectively.
The Chairman also said that the teachers and students participating in IBSE workshops are their resource persons and these master trainers would train other teachers who would teach in classroom more effectively. Dr. Soomro said that feedback on IBSE Programme from students and teachers is imperative to improve the teaching and learning system.
Earlier, PSF Member Science Dr. Khalil Ahmed Ibupoto gave an introduction of the programme. He said that IBSE is aimed at capacity-building of teachers and students, helping students to select science as career and improve methods of science teaching in Pakistan. He said that the progress of the programme in 30 LAAMAP associated schools of Rawalpindi and Islamabad will be reviewed to improve the programme.

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