Making science easier

The Little Shop of Physics is a programme initiated to deal with the lack of laboratories and science apparatus in schools.

06 August 2019 | Education

Justicia Shipena

B2Gold Namibia, in collaboration with the education ministry, officially launched the flagship Little Shop of Physics (LSOP) teacher programme on 2 August at Emma Hoogenhout Primary School.

The goal of the LSOP, which has already trained 180 teachers, is to find creative ways to share science with people of all ages through practical, hands-on experiments.

Khomas education director Gerard Vries said the programme was part of continuing the professional development of natural science and health education teachers in the region.

Vries added it has targeted a total of 200 natural science and health education teachers in Khomas. He said Khomas has introduced regional work schemes in all subjects, thus the LSOP is of great benefit.

“In science the regional work schemes target all physics topics to be taught in the second trimester,” he said.

According to deputy education minister Ester Anna Nghipondoka, schools are hampered by a lack of laboratories and science apparatus at primary level, thus science teachers continue to struggle when delivering practical lessons.

Nghipondoka said the LSOP enhances innovation among educators and learners, so they think outside of the box, by improvising and using the available materials to design experiments for all scientific topics within the natural science and health education syllabus.

“I am confident that this training will capacitate teachers with the simplest creative ways of developing day-to-day materials within their environment, thus enhancing them to be innovative and critical thinkers,” she said.

Nghipondoka stressed that the future of Namibia and the African continent depends on the increased support and development of talented scientists and entrepreneurs, who can take up opportunities to create new technologies and innovative solutions to pressing problems.

“This can only be realised through establishing a solid foundation in science teaching at primary level,” she said.

B2Gold Namibia managing director Mark Dawe said when they started the programme, there was a fantastic level of teaching.

Dawe added they initially started teaching children and later realised that teaching teachers was more impactful, in terms of what they want to achieve.

“We are not only working with primary schools, we are also involved with the University of Namibia (Unam) and the Namibia University of Science and Technology (Nust),” he said.

Dawe said over 180 teachers have been fully trained through the LSOP, and B2Gold’s goal is to increase the understanding of fundamental physics concepts in a simplistic and fun manner, so many Namibian learners and educators as possible are in alignment with the national curriculum.

“We take from the earth, so we give back to the earth,” he said.

The event ended 180 teachers being awarded certificates.

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