Speech - National Science Week at Plaine Verte - Good morning and thank you for inviting me to today’s event. I am happy to be here on the occasion of the tenth edition of the National Science Week BUT the first one for 2014. The first one was held at Rose Belle, which was a huge success, then we had similar events at Riviere du Rempart, Flacq, Rodrigues, Quatre Bornes, Bambous, L’escalier, Saint Pierre, Triolet and we are here at Plaine Verte for the district of Port Louis.
Well ladies and gentlemen
Science is such a universal subject that we cannot do away with it. The country needs the critical mass of professionals from scientific background in order to meet the future socio economic challenges of the country.
The Rajiv Gandhi Science Centre (RGSC) has the mandate to promote science and technology among the general public and also among school students. Thus RGSC came up with various programme like the Sky Observation programme for general public, Science Through Colours, Science Project based competition for school students, all having one and the same goal i.e. science popularisation.
Each of these activities have been tailor made to attain certain clear specific goals like for example
The objectives of the Sky Observation is to provide the public at large, weather permitting, an exciting opportunity to be introduced to stargazing as a leisure activity and be initiated to the wonderful world of astronomy.
Science Through colours on the other hand had been conceptualised to create scientific awareness through drawing/painting and encourage students to explore scientific theme through creative thinking.
The science project competitions targeting the school students provides them the opportunity to investigate issues related to science and technology using the scientific method. This experience also provide them the opportunity to undertake scientific investigation and also to enhance their written and verbal communication.
And today we are here with the National Science Week.
Science popularisation, ladies and gentlemen, is not only for scientifically literate public or for students who study science at schools but even for those not opting for science as a career, a basic knowledge of science is essential for better understanding the functioning of our own body, for being aware about proper nutrition as regards to health, to understand, understanding abrupt climatic changes etc.
It is precisely in this particular context, and also following a Cabinet decision that RGSC is has come up with the National Science Week.
An important aspect of the Science Week is to show the practical importance of Science and Technology in various sectors of the Mauritian economy. In a moment we will have the opportunity to discover together the exhibition that has been mounted by various stakeholders in the field of science and Technology.
A series of interactive and eye catching science demonstrations has also been scheduled to explain science concepts and their applications in daily life, in a fun manner. During the show audience involvement, observation and critical thinking is encouraged
I am given to understand also that a series of sensitising talks by various stakeholders will also be carefully scheduled during this two days programme.
By pulling all these resources together we wish to attain the following objectives:
a) communicate science and technology in the community;
b) promote public understanding of science issues and
c) supplement the school curriculum in a non-formal, interactive and fun way.
We have noted lot of interaction between the public and the stakeholders participating in the exhibition
I am glad to note that we have the contribution and the support of Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, Ministry of Agro Industry and Food Security, Mauritius Blood Donors Association, Mauritius Research Council, Open University of Mauritius, Police Traffic Branch, Fire Services, MFDC, Universite des Mascareignes etc
To end I have no doubt that you will all benefit from the exhibition and the sensitisation talks and take the message ahead in your neighbourhood so that we ultimately end up with an increased awareness and understanding among the whole community on the important role that Science and Technology plays in our life and hence aiming at a scientifically literate country.
Thank you for your kind attention!