KARACHI: This is with reference to Pervez Hoodbhoy’s article of February 20 titled “Why are Pakistani students science-phobic?”
The writer raises important questions regarding Pakistan’s education system. It is not only our textbooks but our way of teaching that needs to undergo a change. It is essential that students gain a proper understanding of whatever subject they study, and in order to achieve that, their interest in the subject should be encouraged in different ways.
The things they study should be made relevant to their lives, instead of being abstract ideas that they are forced to learn out of a textbook. Often, teachers don’t even bother explaining the material, choosing, instead, to just read out whatever is written in the textbook in a dull monotone. Such pedagogical methods are hardly going to nurture a student’s curiosity. Teachers should be encouraged to adopt a more dynamic and interactive mode of teaching which would make students more interested in science.
The media can also play a part in bringing science into our nation’s culture. A good example of a show that makes science accessible and entertaining for young children is “FAQ”, a show that comes on a children’s television channel. It takes complex concepts of science, such as the effect of gravity and pressure, and explains them through simple, fun demonstrations and experiments. We need more locally-produced programmes like this one.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 23rd, 2012.