JIS News

Eighty of the country’s high school science teachers have been selected for a one-day workshop on micro-science, which will be held tomorrow (Nov. 18) at the University of the West Indies’ (UWI) Mona campus.
The workshop is being put on by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in collaboration with the Ministry of Education (MoE), the UWI’s Science Faculty, and the International Organization for Chemical Sciences in Development (ICOD).
The aim is to equip teachers for the introduction of the UNESCO-developed Global Micro-science Experiments Project in Jamaica.
Under the initiative, students will be provided with kits that are veritable mini-laboratories, with accompanying booklets to conduct practical experiments in physics, chemistry and biology.
The aim is to improve the science curricula by the inclusion of hands-on experimentation for a better understanding of the science; increase the interest of young people in science so as to promote scientific literacy and the choice of a scientific career; and enhance the use of practical science experimentation using micro-science as an advocacy tool amongst policy makers.
Chief Education Officer in the MoE, Grace McLean, told JIS News that a key objective of the project is to promote capacity building for science education and enhance the development of scientific thinking and experimentation among students.
“Science is an area that we are pretty concerned about within the Ministry and the country in general, because we are not seeing many of our students taking up this area,” she said.
She told JIS News that the teachers selected for Thursday’s workshop will be trained as trainers and will be required to prepare the remaining science teachers’ island wide.
“We have pulled physics, chemistry as well as biology teachers from selected schools across the island to participate in this workshop,” she informed.
“The approach we are using is one where we will be training these 80 teachers as trainers, so we have selected the best from our schools and their responsibility will be to ensure that through our quality education circles, we have all our teachers introduced to this unique way of ensuring that our students are able to grasp the basic concepts in biology, chemistry and physics,” the CEO explained.
The UNESCO Kingston Cluster Office Caribbean has selected Jamaica as the first country in the region to pilot the micro-science project. According to Mrs. McLean, if the project is successful, it will be replicated in other Caribbean countries.
She told JIS News that the micro-science project has been introduced in at least 80 countries worldwide and is a very unique way of reducing the cost of materials and tools that would be required in science.
Details regarding the official introduction of the programme in schools are still being worked out.

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