| Pursuit of knowledge |
Jorhat, Feb. 7: The Assam education department has taken up a massive programme to attract students towards science in schools.
Four mobile science laboratories, designed by the Bhaba Atomic Research Centre (BARC), are being launched in April in Jorhat, Dibrugarh, Kamrup and Silchar. These labs will move from one government school to another across the state along with trained teachers to demonstrate latest technologies to the students.
J. Balaji, former director of Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhijan, who has been recently appointed deputy commissioner of Hailakandi, told The Telegraph over phone from Algapur that in recent times, there had been a decrease in the number of students in the state taking admission in the science stream.
“Dry subjects like physics, chemistry and biology are no longer attractive. We decided that in order to create a science pool, there was a need to provide practical exposure to the students. In this regard, the mobile practical vans were mooted which would move from school to school accompanied by trained teachers and assistants,” Balaji said.
He said the teachers would be trained to be confident and comfortable in handling all the equipment while demonstrating these to the students.
Jorhat inspector of schools Kamal Jyoti Gogoi said the first batch of 60 science teachers — 30 from Dibrugarh district and 30 from Jorhat district —would be trained later this month at JB College here. A similar training would be held for teachers from Silchar and Kamrup districts at Cotton College in Guwahati.
Balaji said the vans were a temporary measure and that 900 high and higher secondary schools in the state had been given funds to construct laboratories of their own. “By June, we expect all these laboratories to be constructed and then Rs 1 lakh will be given to each school to equip them. Once these become operational, the mobile labs might be given for use to non-government venture schools,” he said.
On tying up with non-government organisations to run these labs, Balaji said teachers would be trained to create an in-house pool and later a scientific society would be formed to govern the five-year programme.
The programme is being launched in collaboration with Unicef and BARC. Bhaba officials had come to the state to help design the labs, which have the latest technology.
Gogoi said once the science labs were constructed in the schools, more labs would also be set up to teach maths and languages in a practical way.