President Pratibha Patil said the perception of science subjects being difficult was not correct and asked parents and teachers to dispel this fear from the minds of children.

“Parents and teachers can play a major role in creating interest in science (among children),” Ms. Patil said while presenting the Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research (INSPIRE) awards here.

“It is the method of teaching and creating the right conditions that will generate interest in the study of sciences in this country,” she said.

She drew attention to two important areas such as skill building for teachers and adequate facilities in schools.

“As part of skill building, there should be professional training courses as well as refresher courses for teachers engaged in science education, given the rapid developments in this field. Secondly, adequate laboratory infrastructure in schools and colleges is essential for imparting good science education,” she said.

Ms. Patil also reminded that programmes that encourage the pursuit of science disciplines are essential for a country of the dimension of India, which needs a large pool of scientists for meeting the challenges of the 21st Century.

Minister for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences Vilasrao Deshmukh also appealed to all responsible members of the society to nourish science.

The INSPIRE Award scheme targets encouraging about one million children in the age group of 10 to 15 years to innovate small science projects over a five year period.

A national level exhibition of school children has been organised in the capital in which more than two lakh students from schools all over the country participated.

Keywords: Pratibha Patil

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