UNESCO Centre for IT-based Science Education to be hosted by Korean university

13 February 2001 - A few months hence, students at Chonbuk National University in the Republic of Korea will be sharing their campus with the new UNESCO Centre for IT-based Science Education. The Centre will specialize in the use of information and communication technologies to broaden access to scientific knowledge and improve the quality of education through networking and teacher training.

In preparation for its opening later this year, the Centre has received US$200,000 from Chonbuk National University. This initial investment from the host institution will provide for the computers, interfaces, sensors and laboratory equipment essential for the development of IT-based science teaching approaches within a framework of regional and international co-operation.

The proposal for a UNESCO Centre for IT-based Science Education has received enthusiastic support from representatives of member countries of AsPEN (Asian Physics Education Network), a body which promotes the overall development of university physics education in Asia.

The proposed Centre is also sure to appeal to partners in the World Conference on Science, for it implements one of their recommendations. Paragraph 20 of the Science Agenda namely calls on ‘research and education institutions ... to take account of the new information and communication technologies, assess their impact and promote their use, for example through... the establishment of virtual ... teaching environments.’

Paragraph 20 goes on to say, ‘science curricula should be adapted to take into account the impact of these new technologies on scientific work. The establishment of an international programme on Internet-enabled science and vocational education and teaching, alongside the conventional system, should be considered in order to redress the limitations of educational infrastructure and to bring high-quality science education to remote locations.’

For further information, contact M.Alarcon in the UNESCO Jakarta Office: mc.alarcon@unesco.org