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BIUST takes Science training to teachers

Publishing Date : 01 June, 2015


The Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST) through its Directorate of Pre-University Academic Programs in collaboration with the Centre for Public Awareness of Science of the Australian National University this week launched a workshop targeting about 100 teachers of science.

The workshop, aimed at capacity building, in respect of Sciences targets teachers interested in Science and Mathematics to impart knowledge to them in that discipline.

The BIUST’s (PUAP) is an initiative established primarily to stir a process of strengthening a Maths and Science student pipeline by stimulating interest in mathematics and science across the pre-tertiary education sector through any ingenious means.

The PUAP has conducted shows as a way of demystifying science and motivating potential Maths and Science learners.  To rise to the challenge of engaging the motivated students, teachers require relevant training. The training for the teachers will be interactive and curriculum based and will promote locally available day to day materials and equipment to teach science.

The interactive, curriculum- linked workshop will help teachers discover a huge range of practical science activities they can carry out with low cost or free items. The workshop will give teachers skills and experience doing the science activities, background science knowledge and a detailed workshop booklet.

BIUST among other things was established as a vehicle for science and technology development through research and technology transfer. Through their Pre- University Academic Programs (PUAP) and Australian National University through Centre for Public Awareness of Science (CPAS) they have established a relationship aimed at supporting Botswana’s (Ministry of Education and Skills Development) efforts in dealing with a longstanding Mathematics and Science performance problem in pre- tertiary education.

The relationship leverages on the experience (spurning many years) and success of Centre for Public Awareness in Science which have pioneered international science Centre icons such as the Questacon in Australia.

In an effort to diversify the national economy from a resource based to a knowledge economy, Botswana has recognised the importance of science and technology as engines that drive such economic transformations.

This is highlighted in various national policies such as: The revised National Policy on Education of 1994; The National Human Resource Development Strategy 2009- 2022; The Revised National Policy on Research, Science, Technology and Innovation.

One of the major constraints causing poor performance in mathematics and science in Botswana at pre tertiary levels (foundation to university level studies) has been highlighted as ‘lack of equipment, laboratories and to some extent lack of qualified Mathematics and Science phobia leading to poor performance.

The Australian team conducted a similar training to this one in 2012. The theme of the workshop was Demystifying Mathematics and Science and emphasis was mainly on teaching of practical work with limited resources.  

The workshop will also highlight where everyday materials like soft drink bottles, elastic bands and paper can be used for school science activities. The training which started on the 21st in Gaborone will go across the country ending at Kasane on the June 4th.



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