SCIENCE, what once used to be the most sought after subject at secondary, college and university levels in the country, is losing its appeal in an alarming shift of choice. This was observed by eminent scientists and educationists at a roundtable session titled State of Science Education in Bangladesh, jointly organised by The Daily Star and Bangladesh Academy of Sciences (BAS), which was held in The Daily Star conference room on the 12th of July. Participants from different institutions were invited to share their views on the current status and future trends of Science Education in Bangladesh.
While enrolment for science studies shows a sharp decline over the past few years, quality of science education also took a slide during the same time with an evident dearth of quality teachers. But even in colonial days, Bengalis like Jagdish Chandra Bose, Satyen Bose and Meghnad Saha proved commendable science skills. Of the 10 scientists whose pictures are being exhibited in the National Oceanographic Institute at Goa, India, four are from Bengal. Today, the contribution to the world repository of science and technology of this seventh most populous country is painfully meagre.
What contributes most to the decline of the quality of science education and student enrolment? What are the ways to bring back the days of glory? How to popularise science education to create an army of scientists who would work devotedly to find solutions to the environmental and economic challenges facing the country? These were the questions the country’s key scientists and educationists tried to find answers of when they gathered at The Daily Star office on July 12. (Read full report)