DSTE prototypes development training opens

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Directorate of Science and Technology Education at the Department of State for Basic and Senior Education yesterday began a four-day training workshop on the development of prototypes for teachers and students at Essau Senior Secondary school, in the North Bank Region.

The training brings together 38 participants including students, science and maths teachers from various schools within region 1, 2, 3.

In his welcoming remarks, Bambo Touray, the principal of Essau Senior Secondary School expressed delight at hosting the training. He said that the world today is moving forward and The Gambia should not be left behind.

Mr Touray underscored the need to understand the essence of using bio-gas rather than firewood. “This way, we can protect our country from environmental degradation,” he said.

He then commended the Directorate of Science and Technology for organising the training and implored participants to take the training seriously.

For his part, Adama Jimba Jobe, the director of Science and Technology Education at the Department of State for Basic and Secondary Education, highlighted the essence of science, mathematics and technology to the education of “today’s children for tomorrow’s world”. According to Mr Jobe, the Directorate of Science and Technology Education has identified a number of programmes in the area of science including a teaching methodology programme that would teach student more hands on methods.

This prototype development training workshop, he said, has been set to enable teachers of science and students of science in Senior Secondary Schools to participate in areas for change in science education. “We also feel it is important that all those at the grassroots of education be involved in the implementation of these programmes at all levels,” he said.

However, Mr Jobe also highlighted an alarming decline in young people’s interest for key science studies, mathematics and technology, despite the numerous projects and actions implemented to reverse the trend. He added that the current initiatives in The Gambia in actively pursuing the renewal of science education through the promotion of hands on experiential learning and child-centred methods show great promise, but are not of the scale to bring about substantial impact and are not able to exploit fully the potential Gambian level of support for dissemination and integration. “If we are to popularise science so that the science and technology become an integral part of the education process of modern life, we must be prepared to fundamentally adopt a new approach in the teaching of science in our schools,” he maintained.

Khalifa Jammeh on behalf of the governor of North Bank Region emphasised the importance of teaching science and technology in schools. According to him, science teaching is important for understanding of so many relevant things such as medical, economic and environmental issues. He urged students to participate seriously in the training as science plays significant roles in all walks of life.

Author: by Bekai Njie