Strengthening Participatory Organization (SPO) and Pakistan Science Foundation have decided to join hands to promote the science at the rural level around the country.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) under the theme of ‘Capacity Building of the Rural Masses through Promotion of Science” was signed in Islamabad on October 11th, 2011,between the two prestigious organizations.
Addressing the MOU signing ceremony at the Pakistan Science Foundation building in Islamabad Special Assistant to the Prime Minister of Pakistan on Social Sector Ms.Shahnaz Wazir Ali said that the PPP governments has always been supportive for science and bringing its benefits to masses. Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhuto and Shaheed Benizar Bhutto always gave due importance to science and technology and present government is also following their footprints with the same vision. She said, Climate change is a reality for us and in order to face the challenges being posed it we need to promote the understanding and knowledge of complex world of science and learn how to save lives, livestock and crops from its affects. She hoped that this joining of hands by the SPO and PSF will serve the communities by mainstreaming scientific knowledge.
SPO Chief Executive Naseer Memen said, the partnership among PSF and SPO is a step towards achieving sustainable development whereby both the social sector and academia would gain opportunity of learning new trends in science and technology. “Socialization of science will ultimately lead towards the economic development of the country” he said. Mr. Memon emphasized on the need for greater partnership between government, social and private sector to meet the challenges faced to this country. He said biggest challenge faced by the country was the menace of fundamentalism and only promotion of science has the potential to replace the blind faith with wisdom and enlightenment.
Chairman PSF, Dr Manzoor H. Soomro while addressing the ceremony said his organization was working with other organizations that have networks and outreach in rural communities to take science out of laboratories and bring it to people. He hoped that this joining of hands with SPO to reach far flung areas will be fruitful. He said established in 1973 through an Act of the National Assembly, PSF is premier agency for the promotion and funding of scientific research and popularization of science in Pakistan. Chairman SPO Board of Directors Dr Tufail Ahmed said that SPO wants to promote culture of scientific thinking especially in rural areas, as we want to initiate rational thinking and decision making which is necessary for sustainable development.
Dr.K.K Nagata, Director/Representative UNESCO-Pakistan termed the partnership as groundbreaking event for making science work for masses. She opined that in this knowledge based age science is the key for development of persons as well as of society.
She said, Pakistani people are highly talented but their potential needs to be recognized and acknowledged. She said this partnership is a step in that direction.
Pakistan is a country where approximately 63% population is residing in the semi urban and rural areas. Although the rural areas are serving as the backbone of the country’s economic development, the population there is deprived of the essential knowledge and skills complementing basic science education and its linkage with the development scenario of the country. This deficiency results in inadequate professional growth within the country leading to country’s low economic development or raising poverty. The partnership between SPO and PSF is an effort to contribute in bridging this knowledge gap in the rural communities. SPO is one of the leading National NGOs that is working in 40 districts across the country including AJK on the thematic areas of democratic governance, social justice, peace and social harmony, emergency and disaster response. The organization has successfully created a group of ‘social change agents’ through the formation of Civil Society Networks throughout the country where the organization is geographically and thematically present. These change agents lead the whole process of capacity building and awareness among the grassroots tiers upto the top by advocacy at policy level on social issues.