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Committee on Chemistry Education

Number: 2005-004-1-050

Title: Flying chemists program - 2005 visit to India

Task Group
: K.V. Sane

Members: Jawaharlal Dhar, Seema Jerath, Rakesh Khullar, and N.K. Uberoi

Remark: The Flying Chemists Program (FCP) is a new activity of the CCE Subcommittee on Chemistry Education for Development (CED). The aim is to provide emerging countries means to improve the teaching and learning of chemistry at primary, secondary, and tertiary levels. more

Completion Date: 2005 - project completed

The one week program for the two visitors will include seminars and discussions with academics, industrial houses and government agencies to identify viable strategies for

  • professional development of in-service and pre-service teachers through the design of an internet-linked strategy which will equip a chemistry teacher with some specific skills needed today to become an effective teacher
  • promoting student interest through a discovery- based approach catalyzed by the skills acquired by teachers participating in the professional development program.

For this first project under the FCP, Prof. Peter Atkins and Prof. Ram Lamba will make a visit to India in 2005.

Discussions with Prof. Peter Atkins and Prof. Ram Lamba during their visit to Delhi in early 2004 surveyed several areas of chemical education. The proposed visit in 2005 will focus on

  • curriculum development
  • development of new assessment tools
  • design and implementation of hands-on experiences at all levels of chemistry education
  • promote partnerships among universities, universities and industries, and universities, industries and governments
  • develop self-learning and self- assessment approaches based on state-of-art technological tools
  • create international and intra-national networks for real and virtual partnerships for sharing and monitoring innovative practices
  • Procurement of seed funds from national, regional and international sources for pilot-testing of the sustainability aspect of a few key innovations.

A particularly encouraging aspect of the visit last year was the contact with Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam - the President of the Republic of India. Dr. Kalam is not only a technologist of international repute but he is also an ardent supporter of the role of education in development as shown by the following excerpt of his book India 2020: A vision for the new millennium: A developed India, by 2020 or even earlier, is not a dream. It need not be even a mere aspiration in the minds of many Indians. It is a mission we can all take up and accomplish. Igniting young minds, we feel, are a powerful resource. The resource is mightier than any other resource on the earth, in the sky and under the sea. We must work together to transform our 'developing India' into a 'developed India' and the revolution required for the effort must start in our minds....

Since there is a need for enhancing the creative and inspirational component in the teaching-learning process all over the world, the Presidential remark implies that India is likely to provide a fertile territory to CCE for pilot scale experimentation with innovative approaches.

Sep 2005 - A visit for Profs. Atkins and Lamba was organized mid July 2005. The academic program comprised of lectures, Workshops and interactive sessions held at two different venues during the week of July 18. The audience included teachers, Principals, and School management. Organization of the program was handled by the DAV College Management Society and the Gujarat Education Society. (The two societies have a network of over 600 schools/colleges all over India.) .

The Task Group Chairman met the visitors on July 23 to formulate the FCP follow-up. The title Capacity Building Project (CBP) was chosen as it seems well suited to express the objective of the follow-up project. It was decided that CBP should not only include the key parts of this FCP but also relevant portions of the e-quiz and the micro-scale proposals. The CBP is an attempt to revitalize the teaching-learning process through an e-cooperative formed by teachers for teachers. The feedback form the stake holders suggested that such consolidation would be useful for operational convenience. Plans for the implementation of such CBP were discussed.

project completed

Last update: 23 September 2005

<project description published in Chem. Int Jan-Feb 2006, p. 24>


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