Sunday 5 July 2015


"Is there something smaller than a proton?" a curious student asks. And the reply is 'you find out'.

"Practical is what is practiced!" one wise person told me. So I am happy to be in this lively place right now, where although heat is trapped in the room of 40 and sweat is pouring from all four-heads, but learning science is not considered boring and blowing balloons to build rockets is not deemed as impractical.

I am here in Tando Jam, a town known for its agriculture university, located 25 km from Hyderabad; attending a session organized by RETO Foundation (Reach Engage and Transform the Outreach) under its summer Smart Study Program. 

It has been observed that grade 11 and 12 are highly stressful years for students; exams become an entry or exit door to universities and performance is measured by the monetary gains expected to be retrieved. But this room appears very different. The students are preparing for a new life ahead yet eyes are not dimmed by boredom and burden, instead they are curiously trapped on to the experiments they are conducting.

I see Ms. Lala (as students call her) running around the room, using chemicals playfully and dancing with her hands to make daily used resources a medium for inspiring inquiry. While traveling to Tando Jam from Karachi in the early hours of Sunday, Lalah Rukh tells me about her exciting experience with students in Norway. For the past 5 years she has been working with students across Norway celebrating science education. In her words 'I want to see everyone speak the language of science'. Her enthusiasm and passion brings her to Pakistan now.

Without doubt everyone in this room spoke the language of science. I have never experienced learning Newton's law with a balloon racing across a piece of thread, or studying molecules by mixing calcium tablets with water and see them exploding in front of my eyes.

We were also fortunate to be accompanied by Mr. Kaleem Durrani, a peoples person who is enthusiastically committed to social work. He shared his experience working with the IRTIQA Institute of Social Sciences, and stated 'every destruction brings an unprecedented opportunity to create anew, it is us who will decide how our education system now is recreated'.

RETO brings a new platform; I hope one, that thrives to channelize exploding creativity from such rooms into meaningful innovations that make our society a self sustainable and sharing community to live in.  

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