Muhammad Azam Khan Swati
Science Talent Farming Scheme (STFS) is an endeavor to sow a crop of young students having aptitude towards science, many of whom would inshaAllah bloom in the near future. It will develop critical thinking in the students instead of memorizing and rote learning.
Holistically, so far we have not laid adequate emphasis towards upon promoting science education, which has resulted in the country lagging behind in innovation and technological process. In this context, every year 300 students after matriculation exams will be selected by third party evaluation process and groomed to the highest degrees in various scientific disciplines. Simultaneously, a “National Science School” will be established, which will be able to accommodate 2500 students, starting with an intake of 500 students from Grade-8.
More than 24,000 students applied for STFS scholarship in 2016. Considering the number of such a large number of applicants, we are able to choose 300 top most achievers from all over the country for STFS program
Transformation of the old Science Caravans into Mobile Science Labs is another significant achievement under STFS project. These Mobile Science buses have been equipped with the latest technology & e-learning systems. The main aim of this initiative is to reach out to the students who do not have access to adequately equipped labs. These buses are solar powered and can run without external power supply which is ideal for far flung remote areas.
This project has been conceived by an important organization of Ministry of Science and Technology, the Pakistan Science Foundation, which has been given the mandate to promote and popularize science in the country. On one hand it provides funds to the Scientists working in Universities and R&D organizations for the S&T research projects having bearing on our socio economic needs, so far more than 1600 research projects have been provided funds and on the other side, PSF is also undertaking a number of programs for creating science awareness at grass root level.
Looking at the present situation of S&T in Pakistan, one has every reason to be optimistic. Some major aspects of S&T development, in the form of Human Resource Development, Up gradation of R&D Infrastructure, Launching of new R&D endeavors including Information Technology as well as complete restructuring of many R&D organization, are but a few of the activities planned for the near future. In addition there is a major effort to establish linkage with industry for marketable research.
To be successful science education has to make science relevant, practical and problem oriented and in the process produce persons who have creativity to apply acquired knowledge to new situations, the competence to get things done, the curiosity to discover and understand the world around them, and the compassion to apply what they have learnt to human needs.
Projects like Science Talent Farming Scheme are of essential need for our national development. Keeping in view the activities being undertaken under STFS, we can foresee that this program will be a landmark for promoting science education in our country. We will soon see the outcome of this project in the near future in the form of a whole lot of highly skilled and productive scientists available for our motherland to play a key role in socio-economic development.
I am very hopeful that our aim of self-reliance will be achieved through this excellent project of Science talent Farming Scheme.
Wishing you all the best for a prosperous future!