Science, Technology, Education and Learning
I shall begin with some background about my own studies and career because we all have our personal trajectories of involvement with science and technology.// Then I shall ask, what is science? Why do governments attach such importance to science while people like yourselves are not always convinced that you need to study it?// Governments like science because it is the basis for technology – and technology is what makes us richer. So I shall explain technology, show how it relates to science and why it makes us more prosperous.// Today’s event has a focus on climate change. Thanks to the careful work of thousands of scientists around the world we now realize that we are in a particularly rapid period of climate change. Much of the change is due to the pressure that humankind is putting on the planet.// We often hear that new technology will help us combat climate change and I shall argue that technology can have its greatest effect through its use in scaling up education. I shall look with you at the role of technology in education. Technology is all around us: motor vehicles, televisions, computers, aircraft, and telephones. But you probably see the least amount of technology around you when you go to school. Why is this?// I shall explain why technology has been little used in education. That must now change. Sri Lanka has some good examples of the use of technology to expand and improve education and you should take more advantage of them.// My concluding words will be about learning. Education is what most of you are going through now. When you finish school or university I hope that you will be able to say that you had a ‘good education’. Your education will then be in the past, but learning will be your future. You will continue learning all your lives. In these fast-changing times, what you learn after you finish your education may well be more important to your lives and your livelihoods than what you learned during your formal education. I shall give examples from the work of my own organization, the Commonwealth of Learning about how the lives and prosperity of people in Sri Lanka are being improved by lifelong learning.