Zenwang Konyak, a Naga scientist and PhD scholar, has begun his efforts to revolutionize science teaching through the Zen Coaching Centre in Nangtan village, Tizit, Mon District. Following his success in securing a Rs 4 lakh grant from the Government of Nagaland’s Sustainable Goal Development (SDG) Innovation Participatory Action Research Initiative 2.0, Konyak is set to establish a science lab and museum aimed at nurturing children’s interest in science and technology.

Zenwang Konyak’s mission to revolutionize science education in Nangtan, Tizit
Zenwang Konyak

However, Konyak’s ambitions extend beyond the original scope of the grant. In addition to the planned facilities, he will introduce the Zen Coaching Centre, focusing on mathematics, science, and English education. The center aims to provide high school students (Class 9 & 10) with access to ‘high end scientific equipment’ which he is using for his research work.

“I started buying equipment for my research work. So, I want my students to be at least familiar with the equipment. Now, I think I have enough equipment with me and I have my own lab so I can at least teach them what it is all about,” said Konyak.

The Zen Coaching Centre in Nangtan village, Tizit, he says, will be confined to Math, Science and English teachings as he hopes to “unravel the wonders of science and mathematics together.” He said that very soon they will have technology aided classrooms.

“We started construction last year and are planning to take in students from the 13th of this month,” Konyak tells MT.

Konyak, who has set up his own research lab, said their centre will be different with theory and practical going hand in hand. “It is a class but the class itself is a laboratory,” he explained.

He acknowledged that there is no science equipment in most schools, and even if they do have, the students do not get access to it. “Last week I asked one of the students about microscopes in his school; he hasn’t seen one and he’s taken admission for science stream!” shared Konyak.

He noted that although the students and teachers are interested in introducing the lab equipment, the administrations usually do not support it. “They need to be taught right…that’s what I feel and we wanted to do that,” said Konyak, adding that he has gathered a bunch of science and mathematics ‘geeks’ to teach at his centre.

“Some are already working; yet, since they are here in Tizit, and Mon town, they will be coming often in their free time to teach.”

According to Konyak, he has an added advantage because his three other siblings all have a background in science and have discussed coming up with this initiative. Konyak hopes that this will promote interest among the children, and particularly demystify the fear towards math and science among the locals.

Mokokchung Times

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