Scientists have asked government to invest more in appropriate technology to promote teaching and research in natural sciences in a bid to develop science education in Africa.
This is to enhance teaching of science subjects from theory to practical using appropriate technologies and ways to have more health practitioners that are up-to-date with societal and global advancements.
A group of scientists from the Teaching and Research in (Neuro) science for Development (Trend) in Africa-an international organization are on an African tour in Uganda to carry out schools outreach spree that will continue building, motivating future scientists from lower schools to high institutions through availing practical knowledge of science based subjects and courses. Trend in Africa is a non-profit organization run entirely by volunteer scientists at universities worldwide with a mission statement of “Sustainable development through higher education and scientific innovation, research and training and advancing of modern science practically.”
Prof. Yusuf Sadiq, the Lead Scientist and director of Trend in Africa and Deputy Vice Chancellor St. Augustine University in Uganda told students in a seminar for students at St. Noah Girls school in Zana Wakiso district that as an organization they have a team of scientists in Africa to change the teaching of science in schools and ensuring students are motivated and appreciate the value of teaching science from lower education to produce credible and professional scientists.
“We talk to students and provide them with the theory which is then applied during the practical session in their course of study,” Prof Sadiq said.
Last weekend a team of Trend in Africa scientists organized a seminar for students in Uganda, where over 200 students were motivated. Prof Sadiq and his team are inspiring future generation of African Scientists through hands-on activities ranging from protein assays, fly fractionation, DNA modeling to cell modeling. During those events, students from nine (9) secondary schools learned to conduct experiments and present their findings, with quiz competition at the end, for which, the top schools received certificates, microscopes as prizes.
Trend in Africa Outreach Coordinator, Mahmoud Bukar Maina told The African News Journal that, “We believe that true sustainable development can only come from through investment in higher education and scientific innovation.”
“We run a wide range of educational activities, and support the establishment of top-level scientific facilities at several countries across the continent by leveraging large scale, low cost approaches to innovation and research. For this, we make use of latest technologies and developments, ranging from open source software and hardware approaches such as 3D printing, online teaching tools, and the use of the cost-effective yet powerful model organism, the fruit fly Drosophila,” Mahmoud Bukar Maina said.
He added that, using such technologies helps to overcome global inequality through education, as well as local empowerment and have long been established as worldwide development goals; however, most existing projects focus at primary and secondary education, neglecting the role of the tertiary tier.
Investment in university education is a key foundation towards a sustainable program in which future primary and secondary teachers are educated locally to the highest standards, which eventually will make these countries independent from Western volunteers.
In addition, scientific education is pivotal to the ability of societies to innovate, move forward and integrate within the global society. To date, most developing nations need to import their solutions, innovations and patents from abroad, while losing their most capable minds to Western universities.
He added that it’s a core objective of Trend in Africa to provide top-level education to local elites in their home country to enable developing societies to take their futures into their own hands and make informed choices as young neuron scientists.
The Trend in Africa program is aimed at interesting students with science and research, through public private partnerships, reduce brain drain and have scientists that are teamed up to develop Africa and communities and encourage others to get interested in science through running science cafes in schools of operation where the programe is being incubated.