Need for operational science centre

PATRONISING SCIENCE education has always been the area in Pakistan, where the successive governments have accorded least priority to this ever important sector despite tall claims by the political leadership. Presently, the country is standing at a crossroads with no mature approach to effectively visualise about progress areas. Science centres across the developed world have significantly established their worth as they are successfully not only providing a strong knowledge base for the students but also have emerged as a research centres for the development of science and technology besides proposing recommendations to policy makers for inculcation in futures plans of actions. Around 57 years back in 1956, when science education had not got much significance as of the todays modern digitalised world, a UNESCO expert in Science Museums, Robert T. Hatt, had proposed the development of science museums in Pakistan. This goes noticeably and arguably that the significance of science promotion has always been the core of the developed nations. However, this vital area is yet to be able to draw the attention of the policy makers in Pakistan even after the passage of about six decades. Our biggest problem is the neglect that we have subjected our people to. The great gap between scientist and layman in their knowledge and understanding of scientific principles and technology imposes a great handicap to the countrys overall progress. The network of world museums of science and technology has proved immensely effective in bridging this gap. In developed world, science museums primarily focus on school children, for they have the most receptive minds. These museums occupy a unique place among educational institutions in appealing to persons of all ages and degree of sophistication. The only science museum, which was established in Lahore about 12 years ago, has now lost its significance courtesy the lack of interest of relevant authorities as well as funds paucity. Until we develop our human capital, all issues particularly science and technology development would remain a distant dream in Pakistan. Our nation needs to awaken and realise the importance of pursuing and investing in science and technology. We Pakistanis must understand that education is vital and fundamental and awake to the compounding situation pursuing scientific knowledge with a mature approach. The personal impact of a science centre is huge as the change that occurs in an individual as a result of his/her contact with a science centre while the social impact a science centre is defined as the effect that a science centre has on groups of people, organizations, and on the built and natural environment. There is a yawning need to understand our national obligation of seeking knowledge that would put the country on the path of progress, prosperity.

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