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White Paper seeking adequate funds for science mooted

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AN AUSPICIOUS BEGINNING: CFTRI Director V. Prakash inaugurating the `Third National Teachers' Science Conference' in Mysore on Friday. PHOTO: M.A. SRIRAM
AN AUSPICIOUS BEGINNING: CFTRI Director V. Prakash inaugurating the `Third National Teachers' Science Conference' in Mysore on Friday. PHOTO: M.A. SRIRAM

Special Correspondent

CFTRI Director wants it to be submitted to Planning Commission

MYSORE: V. Prakash, Director of the Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI), on Friday mooted the idea of preparing a White Paper for fostering innovations in science and submitting it to the Planning Commission for adequate funds.

Delivering the inaugural address of the Third National Teachers' Science Conference being held here, Dr. Prakash drew the attention of science teachers to the issue of inadequate funding for education and stressed the need to apprise the Planning Commission, which is in the process of drafting the 11th Five Year Plan, of the matter.

The four-day conference is expected to provide a platform for teachers to share innovative ideas. Dr. Prakash listed out issues that he described as areas of relevance and urged teachers to discuss them in the changing context of new generation of pupils whose level of awareness is higher owing to greater exposure to information.

He said in today's realm of changing and challenging world the knowledge base of a teacher is expected to be vast and more demanding. Hence, the conference should address issues that are not only generic but also action-oriented to help to empower a teacher to communicate the latest development in the field of science and technology to students.

Underlining the importance of more investment in education, Dr. Prakash said one has to question whether adequate funds are being allocated to foster creativity and innovations. There is a need for teachers to bring about an attitudinal change in them to motivate and inspire students.

They should help in imparting quality education through trained minds rather than churn out stuffed minds.

The key issues on which teachers should concentrate are whether education is confined to degrees or is it knowledge and the means to convert knowledge to wisdom. Teachers should reach out to society through wisdom and knowledge and help to retrieve the nobleness of the profession of teaching, he said.

In this context, he urged teachers to look into what they are lacking and question what prevents them from being innovative in teaching so that classes could be made more attractive.

Dr. Prakash said the end products are ultimately the future citizens of the country and if they are crude and selfish without a sense of national responsibility then teachers would be blamed.

The theme of the conference is "Innovative Methods in Teaching Physical Sciences." It will address issues such as identifying and supporting local area initiatives in teaching methodology, promoting research and development in science education and communication, development and sustenance of new pedagogy in science education and experimenting outside the framework of existing school system. The thrust areas include experimentation, demonstration and analysis of application of physics in daily life, laws of nature and its direct and indirect relationship with physical science, physical science and its inter-relationship with other fields such as bioscience, archaeology, geology, communication and healthcare.

In addition to seminars, the conference has poster sessions, plenary and technical sessions.

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