President ECOSF invited as the Guest Speaker in the Webinar of Sustainability Insight series #5, organized by UNESCO Regional Science Bureau for Asia and the Pacific

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UNESCO Regional Science Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, Jakarta organized the fifth interview of the “Sustainability Insight” series on 16 July 2020. In this series, UNESCO Jakarta invites one implementing partner at a time and learn from their knowledge, experience, and view of the post-pandemic new normal.

President ECOSF Prof Dr. Manzoor Hussain Soomro was the guest speaker in the fifth interview session of the series. Prof. Dr. Shahbaz Khan, Director of UNESCO Regional Science Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, Jakarta conducted the insightful interview with Prof. Soomro on “Investments in Science, Engineering, Technology and Mathematics (STEM) for SDGs”.

During the session, Prof Soomro and Prof Shahbaz Khan, Director of UNESCO Jakarta, discussed the critical role of STEM, Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), and Inquiry-based science education (IBSE) and relationship among them.

In Prof Soomro’s view, STEM subjects are the important topics for ESD, and the IBSE is a key approach in teaching the STEM subjects. IBSE allows children the opportunity to explore “hands on”, to experiment, to ask questions and to develop responses based on reasoning. Therefore, all three elements are synergistic, and important for all levels of society members and all genders.

Prof. Soomro highlighted that during the COVID-19 pandemic, the most significant challenge for ECO countries has been the lack of stable broadband. Unstable internet connection has been affecting the IBSE program and online teacher training, Prof. Soomro added. He highlighted that “it is important for government to invest on ICT infrastructure to support delivery of education”.

Prof. Soomro underscored that the ideal level of investment in STEM. On average, ECO countries spend 0.3% of GDP on research and development, which is much less than most developed economies. Prof Soomro recommended all part of society must invest to STEM, and acceptable and minimum levels of investment as 1 % of GDP.

Relevant material for this session is available at the this link. The recording of the session is also available at the Science for Sustainable Development Facebook page.

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