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Kudos to K·žscience: More Partners, Higher Profile for Educational TV Initiative

Kž·science, a joint initiative of UNESCO Bangkok, Korean TV Channel YTN Science and the Korean Creative Content Agency, ended 2013 on a high note – with three new channels signing on to broadcast its free educational programming.

YTN President Mr. Bae Seok-Kyu and BBS Managing Director Mr. Thinley Dorji finalizes the agreement enabling K·science programmes to be aired in Bhutan. (©Bhutan Broadcasting Service)

Touring the studio at Educational Television of Thailand (from left: Dr. Preecha Chuenchanokpibul of ETV, Mr. Bae Seok-Kyu of YTN, Mr. Hee-Lim Ryu of YTN Science) (© Educational Television)

K·science exhibit at the Gallery Walk of the Asia-Pacific Ministerial Forum on ICT in Education (© UNESCO)

News of the channels joining the project toward the end of last year capped off an already eventful 2013 for K·žscience, which saw two partner TV channels, in Mongolia and the Philippines, begin airing episodes of Science Class, produced by YTN Science.

The project, launched in the latter half of 2012, also saw its profile further raised in the region through participation at a major inter-ministerial forum on ICT in education.

 

Educators in Thailand and Bhutan Eager to Tune In

The three most recent channels to join K·žscience (Education and Science TV Contents Sharing Project in Asia and the Pacific) were: Educational Television of the Centre for Educational Technology, Thai Ministry of Education (ETV), Bhutan Broadcasting (BBS) and the National Television and Radio Company of Uzbekistan (NTRC).

In October, YTN President Bae Seok-Kyu and YTN Science Director Hee-Lim Ryu visited ETV and BBS to meet officials and explore how to strengthen cooperation among project partners.

BBS Managing Director Mr. Thinley Dorji said K·žscience would benefit Bhutanese schoolchildren, particularly when it comes to engaging those who might be falling behind in areas focused on by the channel.

“I think cooperation with K·žscience can be of great help to our children in the schools,” he said, during the channel’s launch in the capital Thimpu. “We have a little problem of children not being very good in science and maths in the schools and we need to promote this so that our science curriculum in the schools will improve.”

Mr. Wang Po Tianjin, Director of the Science Department of the Bhutan Ministry of Education, meanwhile, emphasized the numerous potential benefits of ICT in learning.

“Besides using textbooks and materials available in the library, TV programs offer a way for students to learn that is much more interesting and interactive, which improves our students’ learning experience,” he said.

The director added that K·žscience also offered a way of putting students in touch with an advanced, high-tech world that may not be accessible in their everyday lives, but that they can learn about through this initiative.

In Thailand, YTN Science officials were warmly welcomed by Dr. Preecha Chuenchanokpibul, Director of the Centre for Educational Technology (CET), who said the initiative was a necessary one in the country. 

“I am proud and honored that Thailand will have good science TV programs for our children as a result of this,” he said.  “There are very few Thai TV channels that provide this kind of content.”

ETV representatives also took the opportunity to make suggestions on the future of the K·žscience collaboration.

Mrs. Jaruporn Puttaviriyakorn, Head of the Educational Television Broadcasting Service, hoped to see the programme expanded in Thailand. “We would like to broadcast more of K·žscience’s educational programs covering all of our target audience, from youngsters to teenagers, as well as everyday life sciences programs aimed at the general public to promote lifelong learning,” she said. “We would also like to develop our human resources [television production staff].”

Mr. Suchaipat Hankittimongkol, a Producer at ETV, added: “Co-productions for other educational TV programs targeting school-aged children would be great, as they will grow up to be future of the nation.”

 

Participation at the Asia-Pacific Ministerial Forum on ICT in Education 2013

K·žscience saw its regional profile raised and its innovative nature celebrated as part of the Gallery Walk exhibit at the Asia-Pacific Ministerial Forum on ICT in Education 2013 (AMFIE) held on 26-28 November in Shenzhen, People’s Republic of China. 

The Asia-Pacific Ministerial Forum on ICT in Education (AMFIE) is an annual event organized by UNESCO Bangkok since 2010 that serves as a platform for policy-level dialogue and the sharing of promising models and experiences in developing, adapting and monitoring ICT in Education policies and practices.

The Gallery Walk at the recent AMFIE showcased ICT in Education innovations, with K·žscience among the exhibitors.  K·žscience organizers took the opportunity to communicate the benefits of the project to education officials to help increase the reach and impact of the project throughout Asia-Pacific.

Ms. Ba Liu Qy, Vice Principal of Shenzhen Xixiang Middle School and a participant at AMFIE, took an interest in K·žscience’s potential in the classroom.

“I think it is very good and very useful for the students to watch K·žscience TV programs. My school has a TV station and I’m very interested in importing [K·žscience],” he said. “The students are interested in all kinds of fields, such as science, technology, geography, films, sports, music and so on.  The students can watch it after supper or during their break of classes. It will broaden the students’ horizons and views.”

James Gao, a Grade 12 student volunteering for AMFIE, is also looking forward to the expansion of K·žscience.  “Having more science TV programmes will be good for our students and also for our teachers, because there are many things we don’t know in science,” he said.

Looking ahead

This year promises to be an even more eventful one for K·žscience, now only a year and a half into its existence. YTN Science has translated another two of its educational TV programs, which will be made available to partner channels.  Knowledge Channel (Philippines), has already provided episodes of its programs, not only in science but also in communication/literature, environment, and values education.  Making the programs available via new media (ICT) is also in the pipeline and intended to complement the airing of the K·žscience TV programs.

Find out more about the K·žscience project at www.unescobkk.org/kscience.

 

by Avelino Mejia Jr

 



14.01.2014