School Science Education – Universalisation with Quality

This is one of the sessions organized in a National Conference on Science Education-Challenges of Quality being organised in HBCSE on account of Prof. B. M. Udgaonkar’s 80th birthday.

The speakers of this session: Prof. Anil Sadgopal (Chair), Prof. Ram Takwale, Dr. Anita Ramphal, Dr. Jayashree Ramadas, Dr. Gambhir and Dr. Subramaniam.

Prof. Ram Takawale talked about the issues of Open Educational Resources, distance and open universities, school science education, universalization and quality school science education for all, how to achieve universalization of education. As we know, information and knowledge society is emerging, and therefore ICT can play an important role in solving the problems of making quality of science education universal. In today’s world, we are connected with mobile phone, TV,internet, but not all the schools are connected, in this situation how can we create a connected world. ICT is using different processes such as digitization, personalization, customization and can we use these new processes to universalize science education.

According to Prof. Takwale, we cannot use the conventional processes to solve the problems of universalization, and we need to use ICT to solve such problems. The keypoint is that ICT enables for mass collaboration wherein few people come together for a common cause and create resources for everyone for example wikipedia. He showed interest in creating learning groups or learning communities for the open educational program.

Well, I would like to add here that the SELF Project is also an example of such open educational resources. The SELF Platform is being used to create courses and learning materials. It aims to be a community-driven platform for producing and distributing educational materials.

The next speaker, Dr. Anita Ramphal dealt with the formulation of NCERT syllabus. She showed concerns to bridge the inequality in school education. Some other issues that were touched upon were the language of science used in the textbooks, sometimes due to this the people are distancing from science. The language of science has to be explicit, visual representations are important.

Jayashree Ramadas talked about the Homi Bhaba Curriculum, Dr.  Subramaniam talked about research in mathematics education, Dr. Gambhir talked about science experiments in schools.

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