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Contact: Ayodele Hippolyte

Thursday, March 06 2003 - According to development experts, science and technology could become one of the major paths to economic growth and development for small nations. Saint Lucia is taking its own steps toward exploring this path through a pioneering initiative by the National Council for Science and Technology for Development.

On Wednesday, the Council in collaboration with the local office of UNESCO, launched a video series entitled Science, Technology and You at the Cara Suites Hotel. The aim of this series is to stimulate general interest in and awareness of issues surrounding science and technology. The launching was attended by students, teachers, and representatives from the public and private sectors.

Chairman of the Council, Senator the Honourable Calixte George, declared that countries like Saint Lucia need to be able to select and create the appropriate technologies for its own development and so education and awareness are critical. George said that it was key that the “science and technological aspects of our local environment be brought together, integrated, instilled, distilled into our local population, particularly those who have not been exposed to science education”.

The videos are also aimed at generating an interest and zeal for science subjects among students. Over the years, the number of students opting to study science subjects such as physics and chemistry has been decreasing.

Minister for Physical Development and the Environment, the Honourable Ignatius Jean in his remarks, hoped that these videos would act as a catalyst for changing this trend because there is need for a new generation of thinkers to spur local scientific development. According to Jean, it was “imperative therefore that (we) begin to inculcate an attitude of creativity, innovation and experimentation, especially among our youth…This should in the long term result in increased scientific research and development at the local level”.

The series is comprised of eleven videos which explain the scientific processes in areas such as aquaculture, power generation and manufacturing. There are plans to distribute the videos to schools islandwide as well as for broadcast on the National Television Network in coming weeks.

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