Natural Sciences Education Centre – An educational tool for the labour market
The Natural Sciences Education Centre is implemented by the Faculty ofNatural Sciences of the Comenius University. It was established as a response tothe acute labour market need for renewing, supplementing and extending educationin the field of natural sciences for employees of various organisations andcompanies.
One of the main goals of the Lisbon strategy of the European Union is toincrease the number of researchers and the number of students studying maths,science and technologies. It is not easy to fulfil this objective as theopposite trend has been observed for quite a long time in all EU countries.
The interest of young people in the sciences is decreasing and civil societyis not very familiar with the importance of science for everyday life. There isa lack of possibilities for continuous education in the scientific field.
The Natural Sciences Education Centre offers comprehensive education innatural sciences. Currently, fourteen projects are running in the Centre, whichis co-financed by the European Social Fund. The main purpose of these projectsis to provide activities for the public, the scientific community, students,employees and PhD students at Faculty of Natural Sciences of the ComeniusUniversity.
All projects are focused on natural science education and implementation ofmodern information and communication technologies in the teaching and learningprocess. The Centre pays special attention to the needs of people withdisabilities.
The project can be considered very successful. The most important outcome isa large interest of the target groups in participating in the Centre’seducational activities on natural sciences.
It is often assumend that people (in particular young people) no longer havean interest in the sciences. The project proved that it is not true. If the typeand content of the activities reflect the specific needs of the audience, theresponse is very positive.
The Natural Sciences Education Centre is co-financed by the European SocialFund.
This practice was presented at the Fourth Best Practice Conference NewHorizons in Graz, Austria on 15 November 2006. The conference aimed at promotingexchange of experience and dissemination of best practice between authoritiesinvolved in the implementation on EU Structural Funds Programmes in Europe. Itwas destined to contribute to improving quality of implementation of StructuralFunds on the basis of project presentations and visits.
Faculty of Natural Sciences of the Comenius University
By: Rene Wagenaar,