For a long time I haven’t had a student who wanted to study science. I actually try to push the subject when counselling new students, unfortunately their mind is set on few disciplines mainly IT, Business, and communication studies.
Science is taught very well at our schools, but that is where it all stops. Only those that want to study in medical fields do continue, but there is more to our scientific lives than the human body. The animals, plants and space are worthy of studying as it all influence our lives one way or the other.
On the other hand, do you ever wonder why most employers prefer to hire westerners for jobs that we equally can do?? It’s because of our training. In our schools we follow the curriculum with no insistence on any type of research or any competition. In western countries most children have a criteria embedded in their teaching, this criteria relates to research. Every student has to visit the library at least once a week to do an assignment. With the advent of internet facilities students search for materials that cover their topics. These materials are either within what they have been taught or outside it. The research capabilities that the students acquire from little-hood enable them to excel in life.
Students also register for international competitions in both sciences and mathematics. The University of New South Wales examinations is one of these examinations that come to mind as my children had to take them starting from year five. The exams are run for any child that has an aptitude for science and math, and the results can either be a distinction, a merit or participation. Thus the children are screened at an early age and are followed up and encouraged to become a scientist or mathematicians. Hence the difference between us and westerners, and the main reason for employers to hire them and not us.
This brings me to the subject of today’s article, Science and Math.
I wonder, at times, who is training our scientists and our mathematicians. How far do we allow our children to aspire to become scientists? Look around all our universities and you will find excellent IT and business faculties, but we are still short on science and math’s faculties. Did we omit them from our universities for a reason? Or are we saying that our ancestors are good merchants and that is all we want our future generations to be. Are we saying that we have to continue to be consumers of first world’s products? Are we saying that we can never have a Noble prize winner in our community?
Food for thought only!!