Prof. Manzoor H. Soomro, Advisor ECOSF joins the Inter-Academy Partnership Science Education (IAP-SEP) Global Council Meeting in Rabat Morocco, 16-17 March 2023
Prof. Manzoor Hussain Soomro, the Advisor ECO Science Foundation (ECOSF) as a senior member of the Global Council of Inter-Academy Partnership Science Education Programme (IAP-SEP), joined the triennial conference-cum-meeting of the Global Council in Rabat, Morocco on 16-17 March 2023. The meeting was hosted by the IAP Lead Academy for Science Education Programme- the Hassan II Academy of Science and Technology of Morocco.
Day 1 was a conference-cum-review of the IAP-SEP funded projects and key note presentations on best practices around the globe; while the Day 2 was exclusively dedicated to the formal meeting of the Global Council.
The Day 1 began with opening remarks and welcome by Mr. Omar Fassi Fehri, the Perpetual Secretary of the host Moroccan Academy (Hassan II Academy of S&T); followed by welcome remarks by Prof. Wafa Skalli the Chair of the IAP SEP Global Council (GC).
The first keynote presentation; “Science education and literacy for Global Goals (SDGs)” was presented by Dr. Carol O’Donnell, Director of Smithsonian Science Education Center, Washington, DC, USA and member of GC. Second keynote was entitled; “IBSE Development in Multi-facet Global Initiative” by GC member Dr. R. Indarjani, Dean Faculty of Sciences and Technology, As-Syafiiyah Islamic University, Jakarta, Indonesia. Subsequently, various speakers, mainly the members of IAP SEP Global Council members shared reports of their projects and activities. Regional IAP Networks including the African (NASAC), Asia & Pacific (AASSA), All European Academies (ALLEA) as well as the Latin American Network of Academies of Sciences (IANAS).
From the ECO Region, two members of Global Council presented the report of their IAP funded projects and science education activities. Dr. Lazzat Kussainova from the International Center for Scientific Cooperation (ICSC), Astana-Kazakhstan shared the report of their activities of teachers’ trainings in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan with the additional support of UNESCO Cluster Office Almaty Kazakhstan. Her presentation was themed; “Big Ideas in Science Education” in Central Asia.
Prof. Manzoor H. Soomro made a presentation based on the teachers’ training module on Climate Change Education developed by ECOSF under a project funded by the IAP SEP. Title of his presentation was; “Developing and strengthening climate change education in Pakistan”.
Dr. Soomro shared that ECOSF had launched in 2015 its flagship programme Inquiry Based Science Education (IBSE) in the ECO region with the cooperation of IAP SEP, ISTIC Malaysia and the Ma main a la pate Foundation of France. The Foundation has since been implementing IBSE in member states. Recognising the need to integrate the Climate Change Education into science education at schools, ECOSF developed the proposal and won the grant from IAP SEP to develop a Teachers Training Module which includes the following 10 units:
- Climate and Weather Science
- Science of Changing Climate
- Climate Change Observations
- Causes of Climate Change
- Climate Change Impacts Globally and Locally in Pakistan
- Identifying Human Activities related to GHG Emissions
- Response to Climate Change
- Natural Disaster Risks and Reduction
- International and Pakistan’s Efforts to respond to the Climate Change
- Learning Teaching Strategies
The forum appreciated presented and some questions were also asked with particular reference to the inclusion of concepts of resilience. The audience was informed that resilience is an overarching concept in the project and the module.
Finally, a roundtable session was held around the theme; “Sharing Resources for Science Centers- How to create synergy”, Prof. Soomro was among the participants and also helped the forum with preparation of session summaries of the daylong session.
Day 2 was dedicated to Global Council’s business meeting as per the agenda, and was chaired by the Chair Prof. Wafa Skalli assisted by Dr. Peter McGrawth the Secretary of IAP. Among the agenda items were; a presentation of Science Centers in Africa supported by IAP SEP and the renewal of the Global Council as some members including Prof. Soomro, Prof. R. Indarjani from Indonesia and Dr. Lazzat Kussainova were completing their tenures.
The forum decided with consensus that since Dr. Kussainova had only completed her first tenure, she may continue for another tenure; while Prof. Soomro and Prof. Indarjani had completed maximum three tenures, they be rotated and replaced with new members. However, both- Profs. Soomro & Indarjani were elected as members of the International Advisory Board of the SEP.