Principal Secretary of Higher Education inaugurates 3-D Science Theatre in Planetarium
TIRUCHI: Four vehicles with planetarium fitment have been purchased for reaching out to village schools and to infuse scientific spirit of enquiry among rural students, Principal Secretary of Higher Education K. Ganesan said on Thursday.
Addressing meritorious school students at a function organised by the Anna Science Centre – Planatarium here, Mr. Ganesan said the Rs. 3.5 crore district-level planetarium in Vellore district and the Rs. 8 crore regional-level planetarium in Coimbatore would be readied by this year-end and next year-end respectively. “Science centres are places where students, particularly those from rural parts, relish ‘high impact’ learning through practical insights,” he said, adding that the students also got to know the hollowness of superstitions which were based on traditional understanding of astronomy at these centres.
Advocating a change in the educational system to foster ‘out of box’ thinking among students, Mr. Ganesan emphasised that developing analytical skills with a long-term perspective was more important than obtaining centums for short-term benefits.
Efforts were being taken to enhance the gross enrolment ratio in higher education from the present seven percent to 20 per cent by 2020 in Tamil Nadu. For that to happen, the syllabi had to be set right and the examination system improved.
Through such Science Centres, the education department was training teachers on making the learning process of Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry an enjoyable experience for students. He advised teachers to encourage students to raise questions on what was taught to expand their (students’) knowledge horizon.
Citing the instance of the former President Abdul Kalam, he observed that irrespective of the place to which students belong, scientific temperament and a spirit of enquiry would ensure their transformation into scientists.
Mr. Ganesan honoured prize-winners of the Science Talent Search Contest conducted last month by the Anna Science Centre – Planetarium on the occasion. Later, he inaugurated a new educational facility: 3-D Science Theatre in the Planetarium.
Presiding over, the Executive Director of Tamil Nadu Science & Technology Centre, Chennai, P. Iyamperumal urged educational institutions to make the most of the science centres.
Science lives and survives only because of questioning; thinking is capital and enterprise the mind, he noted, explaining the link between scientific thinking and prosperity.
T.M. Alagiri Swami Raju, Project Director (in-charge), Anna Science Centre – Planetarium, and R. Ahilan, Planetarium Engineer, offered felicitations.