News - GC Pair to Help Shape Nation's Science Education

GC Pair to Help Shape Nation's Science Education

By Carla Morris

“Shaping the world” is more than a lofty ideal for one Greenville College professor and his ready assistant.

For two weeks this June, biology processor Bwarenaba Kautu and graduating senior Christian Semanik will enter the implementation phase of a plan to improve science education in the central Pacific island nation of Kiribati. The potential impact of their work on future generations of islanders is incalculable. 

An Idea Worthy of Investment

Just published, The 2016 Year in Review of the American Association of Anatomists (AAAS) features a story about the project. The AAAS has funded Kautu’s work through an educational outreach grant.

Kautu aims to improve science education in general and anatomy/physiology education in particular in Kiribati’s “resource poor” schools. In June, he and Semanik will conduct workshops with teachers and students. Sites for their work include a high school in South Tarawa, Kiribati’s capital island.

Bwarenaba-LabGrand Orchestration

A native of Kiribati and schooled in impoverished facilities on its outer islands, Kautu knows that many students lack even basic supplies like books, pens and notebooks. Classrooms are poorly equipped and teachers have little to work with.

Producing effective teaching materials given these limited resources requires creativity and collaboration on several fronts. Kautu has played the role of orchestrator, bringing together people “in the know” with people who need to know.

On the curriculum design side, Kautu and Semanik are working with people from the curriculum division of Kiribati’s Ministry of Education and experts in curriculum design from Harvard Medical School and Oxford. On the delivery side, they will work with high school instructors in Kiribati schools and members of local communities.

Uniquely Designed For a Purpose

Lack of resources and educational opportunities continually challenge youngsters growing up in Kiribati. In addition to working with high school teachers and students, Kautu and Semanik will also distribute school supplies to village schools.

They want today’s students to know that limited resources do not reflect their worth as persons.

“We want the younger people of Kiribati to know that they are valued by God and that each one of them was created for a unique purpose,” Kautu explains.

Delivering More Than Knowledge

Semanik, who graduates this May with a major in physical education and certification to teach grades 6-12, looks forward to putting his skills to practice in an enterprise that can help shape the country’s future.

“The ideology we embrace is that we need to deliver knowledge, hope and love to all of those we impact,” he reflects.

With a carefully devised blueprint in hand and willing help from distant partners and local stakeholders, Kautu and Semanik have reason to believe that improved science education in Kiribati is close to becoming a reality.

 Read “Anatomy Education and Outreach in the Republic of Kiribati”

 

Learn More About Vision Turned to Action

Pumpkins for Peace – Creating a community fishpond in Uganda
“I Saw Jesus in a Cup of Water” – Building water filters in Nicaragua
Teaching Hope to Sing – Music education in Burundi
Agape Scholars International – Helping street children go to school in Malawi  

Greenville College believes that God created each student to uniquely shape the world. You can fuel this vision with your gift today. Click here to give.

Together Inspired-sm

This story was published on May 11, 2017




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