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Inculcating a scientific temper in students will turn them into lifelong learners, says Rajesh Bhatia

 India, the birthplace of eminent scientists like C V Raman, Homi J Bhabha, and J C Bose, has emerged as one of the leading global players in scientific research. It stands among the top five nations in the field of space exploration. National Science Day, celebrated annually on February 28 to commemorate the discovery of the Raman effect by Sir C V Raman, provides an opportune moment to evaluate our progress in science education.

In pre-independent India, education was primarily aimed at preparing individuals for administrative service. Post-independence, there was a pivotal shift, and the inclusion of science subjects as a mandatory part of the school curriculum can be traced back to 1953, following the recommendation of the Secondary Education Commission.

“Science education is necessary to foster curiosity, inculcate critical thinking, and a thirst for knowledge. Without these, we cannot make innovation normative or propel our society toward a brighter future,” says Rajesh Bhatia, renowned educator and Founder-Managing Director of Treehouse Education and Accessories Ltd.

It is hence encouraging to note that schools like TreeHouse are not only encouraging scientific learning but also empowering students to become lifelong learners with skills that will enable them to confront real-world challenges with confidence and creativity.

“The National Education Policy in 2022 has strived to revamp curriculum and pedagogy to minimize rote learning. Instead, it asks schools to focus on encouraging holistic development and fostering 21st-century skills such as critical thinking, creativity, scientific temper, communication, problem-solving, and digital literacy,” says Bhatia and adds, “When we facilitate learning by doing, we help students to cultivate a constructive, inventive approach towards problem-solving. This will hold them in good stead in a world that is being altered every day by cutting-edge technological innovations.”

Bhatia believes in order to promote scientific learning, all schools should offer well-equipped laboratories and concludes, “Scholarship programs, inter-school and intra-school science fairs, awards for innovations etc can effectively encourage students to think out of the box. As physician and author Martin Henry Fischer put it, “All the world is a laboratory to the inquiring mind.”

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