Jorhat, July 3: For the students in rural Assam who could not go to the centres of science education, science would now come to them, on wheels.
Jorhat, along with three other districts, has been selected by Dispur for launching a pilot project to promote and popularise science among students of high and higher secondary schools, especially in rural areas in the state.
Under the plan, to be implemented by the Rashtriya Madhyamik Siksha Abhijan (RMSA), Assam, in partnership with Unicef and Assam Science Technology and Environment Council (Astec), mobile science laboratories will be set up on specially designed vehicles, which will visit government high and higher secondary schools in the districts. The other three districts selected in the first phase of the project are Cachar, Dibrugarh and Kamrup.
RMSA mission director Jayanta Narlikar told The Telegraph over phone from Guwahati today that the project, expected to be launched next month, is aimed to provide students the opportunity to know about interesting scientific facts and phenomenon and latest happenings in the field of science. Sources said each district would be provided with a vehicle with a staff of about five persons, including a driver to run the vehicle and to give demonstrations to the students visiting their schools.
The students will also be provided an opportunity to carry out certain experiments. Narlikar added that a committee of eminent educationists would be formed in each district to prepare science experiments with innovative ideas so that the students find it convenient to conduct experiments on their own. A module will be prepared for demonstration and for participation by the students.
There will be three to four lab attendants, all science graduates, who will be trained for the purpose. He said teachers, too, would be involved in the initiative. The buses will be stationed in a particular school for three to four days or longer.
Aryabhatta Science Centres (under ASTEC) at the blocks will monitor the functioning of the project, which will cover 651 schools in the four districts. There are 219 such centres across the state.
Narlikar said that another aim of the mobile lab project is to provide science lab facility to those schools, which do not have proper infrastructure in their science laboratories. The mission director said the project would be reviewed after a certain period of time and expanded to other districts on the basis of the performance in the first phase.