The Center for Didactic Research and Science Dissemination in Burundi (CRDS) of the University of Burundi reveals that 80% of secondary schools in Burundi do not have laboratories to perform scientific experiments.
The situation of scientific education in Burundi is worrying, said Alexis Banuza, Director of CRDS. He said the center has visited at least one school in each province of the country. The teaching of science deserves experimental evidence. So, it has to be done in the laboratories.
“Unfortunately, based on the results of on-site visits conducted in 18 provinces, we realized that more than 80% of secondary schools do not have laboratories. Even where there are, either there is the absence of materials or teachers do not know how to use them, “said Banuza.
He believes that these teachers do not know how to make use of laboratory facilities since they also did not use them when they were still students.
The Director of CRDS also said scientific course teachers are not qualified. “Textbooks and teaching materials are also inadequate,” he said. He also said the few that exist are not contextualized because they are not written by Burundians and in the Burundian context.
Banuza said the number of students who attend science faculty at the University of Burundi decreases significantly because, according to him, the students think that those who attend the faculty of science will only end up becoming secondary school teachers.
“Interviewed students said they cannot attend the science faculty for fear of becoming secondary school teachers in the future. This is a serious problem. We may miss science course teachers, “he said.
Banuza said students have not been introduced to creativity in order to practice what they have learned for the benefit of society. In order to handle this challenge, Banuza suggests promoting scientific research in Burundi.
Prof. Steve De Cliff, Permanent Executive Secretary of the National Commission for Science, Technology and
Innovation, said the Government of Burundi, which is currently in retreat in Gitega, will introduce a bill on Guidance and Organization of Scientific Research and Innovation for Technological Development in Burundi. “This project, once promulgated by the President, will constitute the legal framework on which all activities in the field of scientific research will be based.
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