30.05.2011 - Natural Sciences Sector

Maldives chart scientific route to progress


Science & Technology placed at heart of island nation’s development

Science education and research has taken a prominent role in the recent history of the Maldives. This is evident in the way the Maldivian government has identified access to appropriate science and technology (S&T) - both in its manifesto; which helped it win the election in 2008; and its five year development plan 2008-2013 - as an important means to meet its development objectives.

The Maldives has recently inaugurated its first university (The Maldives National University) on February 15, 2011, based on a previous setup known as the Maldives College of Higher Education. The republic is also looking to establish a science foundation that will coordinate nationwide research and development programmes.

The ultimate objective of the foundation is to create a supply of appropriately trained, motivated and scientifically literate Maldivians, who will play a future role in nationalization of middle- and highly-skilled employment and a reduced dependence on expatriate workers in strengthening socioeconomic development.

The quality of the marine and land environments, both in the fishing and tourism sectors, are major tenants of these economic and social development plans in the Maldives, and S&T development is at the heart of making these plans a reality. UNESCO made continuing efforts in this direction through support for science education and research initiatives to respond to different challenges in the Maldives.

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