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28 March, 2020 00:00 00 AM
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Why we need science education

The science strategy for Bangladesh has to adopt certain policies to improve students’ participation in science within school education
GAZI MD. ABDUR RASHID
Why we need science education

Science education is very important for the development of Bangladesh in many areas. Science, as a subject, is universal and knows no boundaries. Science almost has revolutionised human life. Now, supremacy of science has been established in every field. In fact, so great is its importance for man and society that the present day people live in an “age of science”. No one perhaps needs an explanation at present to include science in the school curriculum. The art subjects are taught because they provide a human and liberal education. The main object of imparting education is to create intelligent citizens able to appreciate and enjoy the beauty and wonder of nature.

Purposes of science education: Science education has two special important purposes: 1. To ensure that young people entering the Bangladesh workforce of the 21st century have the knowledge and skills necessary to promote economic, scientific and technological development; 2. To give the future citizens of Bangladesh an understanding of scientific and technological approaches and evidence, so that they will be able to make informed decisions on scientific and technological issues.

In addition, science education has four broad purposes for school. These are: 1. Preparing students for a career in science (pre-professional training). 2. Equipping students with practical knowledge of how things work (functional purpose).

3. Building students’ science literacy to enable informed participation in science-related debates and issues (democratic/citizenship purpose). 4. Developing students’ skills in scientific thinking and their knowledge of science as part of their intellectual enculturation (cultural/intellectual purpose).

The following are the arguments in favour of science to be placed in school curriculum:

•    Science provides unique training in observation and reasoning. Science students reason from definitely discovered facts and form clear concepts. It makes a systematic analysis and enables him to form an objective judgment.

•    The discoveries have added to the prosperity of human race with vast increase of knowledge. According to Herbert Spencer, science learning is incomparably more useful for our guidance in life. Other chief subjects too provide an intellectual training not inferior to that of science. Practically, we live in a world of scientific discoveries. So science education cannot be neglected.

•    Science is taught to provide training in and knowledge of scientific method, which is useful in the life pursuits. So this needs a school-based science education.

•    Science has its cultural value. It has a literature of its own. The scientific discoveries of Galileo, Newton, Darwin, Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose, Armstrong and others are pride and joy of mankind. So, science has won the first rank of humanistic studies.

•    Science has effective value. It trains child to use his leisure properly. These are clearly illustrated in scientific hobbies.

•    Modern knowledge of science provides great intellectual pleasure. An educated person is under very great disadvantage if he is not familiar with that knowledge.

•    Knowledge of the methods of observation and experiment in the different branches of science helps students to develop a logical mind, a critical judgment and a capacity for methodical organization.

•    Science is useful in that it remedies some of the defects of the ordinary school education. It is found to be the most valuable element in the education of those who show special aptitude. Science provides discipline of mind.

•    Having a methodology to turn our native curiosity into knowledge gives us the power and possibility of invention, of finding solutions to problems.

•    A knowledge and love of science is the ultimate balanced pattern, the pathway to human rights and a better quality of life. Countries with strongly supported science programs are better off economically have greater numbers of people creating new technologies.

•    Our knowledge of how and why things are the way they are in the natural world is our greatest natural resource, second only to water. The way we acquire that knowledge and understanding, called the scientific method, is not difficult, nor does it require memorising a list of words: observations, hypothesis, experimentation, interpretation. These are simply ways we go about learning.

We can say that an individual who has a scientific attitude will (1) show a willingness to change his opinion on the basis of new evidence; (2) will search for the whole truth without prejudice; (3) will have a concept of cause and effect relationships; (4) will make a habit of building judgment on fact; and (5) will have the ability to distinguish between fact and theory.

The science strategy for Bangladesh has to adopt the following policies to improve participation in science within school education. 1. Advice by learning and teaching of how to ensure that all school students have the opportunity to acquire the capacity to cope as citizens and decision makers with scientific issues; 2. Improved teaching materials and assessment methods; 3. Additional teachers should be recruited and must have to pay a greater attention to Continuous Professional development (CPD); 4. Improved accommodation and resources for science education; 5. Activities to promote interest in science.

Strategies:

•    Action to participation of all students from class 1 to 10 in science.

•    Action to increase achievement and participation in science by ethnic minority groups;

•    Greater subject-specific training for primary and secondary school teachers;

•    Improved recruitment and training of secondary school science teachers;

•    Enhancements to pay and incentives for teachers in mathematics, science, Information and Communication Technology (ICT);

•    Improvements to science teachers’ access to Continuous Professional Development (CPD). Frequent training should be provided to the science teachers with respect to the content of science and technology.

•    Investment in improvements to school laboratories;

•    Employment of skilled teaching assistants to support science teachers;

•    Modernisation of science curriculum.

•    Co-ordination of schemes aimed at inspiring students in science and technology;

•    Improvements in careers advice with respect to science and technology.

It is good to expand the basic knowledge of science education to students, or to make science education more deeply embedded in the mind of every student, unless there is a separate group from class one to SSC. All the students should read science, commerce or humanities in combined way at this level. Recently, it has been shown that the number of students in the science group at our secondary level has been decreasing day by day, which is a serious threat to the future prosperity of a our country. In no way can it be accepted. Therefore, all of us related to education have to play a role in this regard.

The writer is Research Officer,

District Education Office (Secondary), Munshiganj.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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