ISLAMABAD: The Punjab government has offered land for the National Science School building in the area of Educational City in Lahore and its construction will start soon, informed Federal Minister for Science and Technology Rana Tanveer Hussain.

Addressing the launching ceremony and Orientation session of National Talent Farming Scheme (STFS) at a local Hotel on Wedneasday the federal minister said, the Chief Minister Punjab has provided the landed for the institution free of costdespite the fact there was a budget allocation for the cost of land.

“The most important aspect of STFS is establishment of the “National Science School” that will be a boarding school having facilities on the pattern of Cadet Colleges for the continuous support and grooming of the capable students having aptitude towards science education. After the establishment of the “National Science School” the selection of the students will be made on regular basis from 8th Class which presently is being done after Metric”, said the minister.

He said the science and technology sector needs more allocation in the budget for research and development as the national targets in the science and techonoly could not be achieved without it.

Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Prof. Ahsan Iqbal while addressing the ceremony said that he had been associated with this scheme since its inception as it is part of Pakistan Vision 2025.

While expressing satisfaction on the scheme, the federal minister said it is like a dream coming true when he look at the young students sitting in front of him me and ready to start their journey in the world of science.

“The entire world is converting into a global village, every country is indulging itself in the never ending race of inventions and innovations by investing more and more towards capacity building of its individuals. The countries with huge natural resources have been compelled to go at secondary positions by the drivers of the new world, which are equipped with skilled and scientific human capital, that is why the term of knowledge based economy has been coined”, commented the federal minister.

He said the dream of knowledge based economy can only be achieved when the human resource base of a country is developed on scientific lines and there is an abundant skilled manpower in the country. The skilled manpower and productive human resource can be produced through a purposeful science education both at secondary and tertiary levels, he maitnained.

Federal Secretary for Science and Technology Fazal Abbas Maken said the extraordinary development in science and technology during the last two centuries has made the science education a necessity and with technology evolving every minute, there is a dire need to develop skilled manpower to cope up with the latest trends.

In this backdrop, he said the initiative of STFS is a step in the right direction. This scheme is an endeavor to popularize science among the young generation, to motivate them to adapt science as their career and to invite the students towards “Learning by Doing” instead of “Rote Learning”, the Federal Secretary said.

PSF Chairman Prof. Dr. Muhammad Ashraf gave presentation about the STFS. He said that “Knowledge based Economy” is the need of the hour while education in general and scientific education in particular was drivers of such economies. Dr. Ashraf said that number of researchers in Pakistan as compared to other countries is very low, which is main reason that the country is lagging behind in the field of SandT as compared to other countries.

While presenting a survey report about science labs of schools in the country, he informed that only four percent girls and seven percent boys schools have fully equipped labs. He said this project will help in improving the RandD needs by producing quality researchers. He said that to improve the status of science and technology in the country we have to focus on improving science education at school level.

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