Role of Science Centres and Museums in informal education highlighted
Use of science only solution to Sustainable Development: Speakers
ISLAMABAD (November 15, 2016): To create awareness and encourage students towards scientific education and research with a view of sharing ideas between the scientists and students, Pakistan Science Foundation (PSF) in collaboration with UNESCO Islamabad commemorated the World Science Day (WSD) 2016 at Pakistan Museum of Natural History, Islamabad under this year’s theme “Museums and Science Centres as Source of Informal Education”.
Officials and representatives of the Ministry of Science and Technology, PSF, UNESCO, British Council Pakistan, French Embassy and representatives from academia and research institutions in Pakistan attended the event.
Mr. Fazal Abbas Maken, Federal Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology, was the Chief Guest on this occasion, while leading scientists Dr. Ashfaq Ahmed was the Guest of Honour.
In his remarks the Federal Secretary highlighted the importance of science and technology and said that the objective of World Science Day was to renew the national, as well as the international commitment to use Science and technology for national development and achieving peace by appropriate use of its applications.
He underlined the importance of the theme of WSD-2016, as declared by UNESCO “Museums and Science Centres as Source of Informal Education” and mentioned that creating knowledge and its applications by using science helped us to find solutions to today’s acute economic, social and environmental challenges to achieve sustainable development. He said Science Centres and Museums are playing an important role in dissemination of scientific information. He said these institutions have assumed the role of learning centres for students. He stressed that a lot of work needs to be done to promote museum culture.
He said that in present age, “international scientific cooperation is essential, so we should initiate joint programs from international platforms, in which UNESCO can play a vital role”.
He congratulated UNESCO and PSF for organizing such an important event. He also congratulated the prize winner students, assembled at PSF from all over the country.
Ms. Vibeke Jensen, UNESCO Representative to Pakistan in her remarks highlighted that Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) is crucial for inclusive and sustainable development. She underlined that science centres and museums’ are playing an important role in providing scientific information as well as opportunities for public participation and engagement. In particular, science museums have the potential to mobilize students’ interest in science education through promoting concrete and hands on experiences that allow them to better appreciate the role of science in development.
Dr. Ashfaq speaking on this occasion highlighted his efforts for getting declared the World Science Day by the UNESCO. He said since 2001 the World Science Day is being celebrated all over the world every year. He said Pakistan Science Foundation in collaboration with UNESCO celebrate this day in a befitting manner to acknowledge contributions of people in the field of science and technology for its peaceful use.
Prof. Dr. Muhammad Ashraf, Chairman PSF, in his address said highlighted the role of Museums and Science Centres in promotion of informal education. He said that PSF is playing a key role in promotion of science education at different levels in the country. It holds the honor of celebrating World Science Day every year to honor the efforts of Pakistani scientists and students working for the attainment of national goals, despite limited resources available to them, he added.
Dr. Ashraf informed the audience that PSF through its various programmes is striving to educate young children across the country about the basic scientific concepts and their applications through establishing Science Museums and Science Centres. PSF is the only government organization in the country working for the dissemination of scientific knowledge in the rural areas of the country he said, adding that for this purpose, PSF operates through science caravans which are equipped with basic scientific gadgets.
Dr. Ashraf also thanked UNESCO and French Embassy for its continuous support to PSF for the execution of different science promotion programmes and vowed to extend further cooperation to all stakeholders for the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Representatives of British Council Mr. Jim Booth and French Embassy Mr. Bussy also spoke on this occasion.
At the end of the event, PSF Gold Medals, certificates and cash prizes were distributed among the winner students of Inter-Board Competitions and participants of London International Young Scientists Forum 2016 and Asian Science Camp-2016.
On this occasion the representatives of British Council and Pakistan Science Foundation also signed a letter of intent for collaboration between the two organizations.
A group photo of science competitions prize winners students with Leading Pakistani Scientist and originator of World Science Day Dr. Ashfaq Ahmed on the occasion of World Science Day Commemoration at Pakistan Museum of Natural History on November 15, 2016.
PSF Chairman Prof. Dr. Muhammad Ashraf and British Council Representative Jim Booth sign Letter of Intent for mutual collaboration on the occasion of World Science Day Commemoration at Pakistan Museum of Natural History on November 15, 2016.c
Ms. Vibeke Jensen, UNESCO Representative to Pakistan addresses World Science Day function at Pakistan Museum of Natural History on November 15, 2016.
Ministry of Science and Technology Secretary Mr. Fazal Abbas Maken addresses the World Science Day function at Pakistan Museum of Natural History on November 15, 2016.
PSF Chairman Prof. Dr. Muhammad Ashraf gives a presentation on “Museums and Science Centres as Sources of Informal Education” on the occasion of World Science Day at PMNH on November 15, 2016.