ISTIC One-Day Event on "Embracing the Future: Improving Quality of Science Instruction in Schools"
5 April 2016, UNESCO HQ, Paris, France

From left to right: ISTIC Governing Board Chair, Dato’ Ir. (Dr.) Lee Yee Cheong; Minister of Education Malaysia, Dato’ Seri Mahdzir Khalid; UNESCO Director-General H.E. Irina Bokova, Secretary-General of Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation Malaysia, Dato’ Seri Dr. Noorul Ainur Mohd. Nur, President of LAMAP Fondation, Prof. Daniel Rouan.

ISTIC in collaboration with La main à la pâte Foundation with the support of the office of the Permanent Delegation of Malaysia to UNESCO, held the above event on 5 April 2016 at the UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, France. The event was organised in support of the SDG Goal 4 which aims at ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. Improving the quality of instruction in the classroom is a major factor contributing to the quality of learning and education. The theme “Embracing the Future: Improving quality of science instruction in school” was chosen to reflect the crucial role science education plays in preparing pupils in facing issues and challenges that will affect the lives and the global environment.  Around 140 delegates from various agencies such as the office of the Permanent Delegations to UNESCO, the French Ministry of Education, staff of the Education Sector, Natural Sciences Sector and UNESCO Community Association (UCA), French Academy of Sciences, OECD, KISTEP, Academie de Paris, Malaysian Embassy (Tourism, Defence, MATRADE, JPA) Tsinghua University, China, members of ISTIC Governing Board, teachers and parents attended the event. 

The one-day event  highlighted Inquiry-Based Science Education as an innovative pedagogy that could provide opportunities for all children to use their inquiring minds and develop thinking skills through involving them actively in questioning, making hypothesis, investigating, discovering, seeking solutions and communicating effectively in both oral and written form. To show case IBSE in action, La main a la Pate Foundation brought 25 pupils to demonstrate their science activities. This gave an opportunity for all present in the hall to interact with the pupils and actually see how IBSE is implemented. A poster exhibition by both La main à la pâte Foundation and ISTIC as well as media presentation further gave insights into the philosophy and activities of La main à la pâte and efforts taken by ISTIC to promote IBSE in developing countries and in developing capacities of science educators in this method. A forum on the same theme highlighted the need for developing the crucial skills amongst pupils needed to prepare them to face the current and future challenges. The event concluded with a Declaration [download].

Director-General of UNESCO, H.E. Irina Bokova co-officiating the event (speech)

Minister of Education Malaysia, Hon. Dato’ Seri Mahdzir Khalid co-officiating the event

The one day event was co-officiated by the Minister of Education Malaysia, the Hon Dato’ Seri Mahdzir Khalid and the Director-General of UNESCO, HE Irina Bokova. Other speakers at the opening were Academician Dato’ Ir. (Dr.) Lee Yee Cheong (Chairman, ISTIC), Prof. Daniel Rouan (President, La main a la Pate Foundation), Dato’ Seri Dr. Noorul Ainur Mohd. Nur (President, UNESCO Natural Science Commission). Speakers of the Forum were Dr. David Jasmin (Director, La main a la Pate Foundation), Dato’ Dr. Samsudin Tugiman (ISTIC Director) HE. Dr. Souad Abdelrazig Mohamed Saeed (Minister of Education, Sudan), Prof. Nadia M. Alhasani (Dean of Student Life, the Petroleum Institute, Abu Dhabi) Ms. Yuri Belfali (Head of Division, Early Childhood and Schools, Directorate of Education, OECD) and Ms. Julia Heiss (Programme Specialist, Section of Education and Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship, UNESCO). Academician Dato’ Ir. (Dr.) Lee Yee Cheong gave the closing remarks. The event succeeded in bringing UNESCO on board with IBSE.

Demonstration on IBSE by school children

Minister of Education Malaysia, Hon. Dato’ Seri Mahdzir Khalid and President of UNESCO Natural Science Commission, Dato’ Seri Dr. Noorul Ainur Mohd. Nur giving tokens of appreciation to the pupils 

Dato’ Ir. (Dr.) Lee Yee Cheong, ISTIC Governing Board Chairman giving closing address

Poster exhibition