ARNHEM-NIJMEGEN, NETHERLANDS: Tuaseen Kulsoom, a student from Chakwal, has won a bronze medal at 14th International Junior Science Olympiad (IJSO) that ran from December 3 to 12, 2017 in the Netherlands.
The IJSO is organized every year where more than 300 students from 15 different countries represent their understanding in the fields of biology, chemistry and physics. The Olympiad aims to introduce the students at a young age to an international network of science enthusiasts and increase the interest in natural sciences among students under the age of 16.
The students were given two individual tests followed by a practicum requiring a team effort and worked on real-world challenges related to this year’s theme of water and sustainability. ‘Water’ has become an important issue worldwide. Access to good, clean drinking water is an increasing problem in some countries, while the low lying countries run an increased risk of catastrophic floods because of climate change.
Tuaseen Kulsoom, who secured the bronze medal for her team, was also the winner of Learn Smart Pakistan 2016 and awarded the ‘Star of Chakwal’ by Punjab Group of Colleges in 2016.
She attained 97% in her recent matriculation examination. Pakistan Science Foundation had selected a team of 6 students – Musa Hamza, Dania Sofia Rahim, Tauseen Kalsoom, Syeda Ibtisam Naqvi, Muhammad Waleed and Mahmood Qureshi – from different schools across Pakistan, to take part in the 14th IJSO. These young scientists have previously represented Pakistan and excelled at different forums like International Kangaroo Linguistic Competition (IKLC), Maths Championship in Learn Smart Pakistan and the Inter- School Math Olympiad.
In Pakistan, the quality of learning being imparted in schools, especially government schools, is extremely poor. Maths and science scores are especially low. According to data collected by the National Education Assessment System, these scores fall under 50 percent on average for every province and region across the country. Earlier this year, Pakistan Alliance for Maths and Science (PAMS) had released a set of recommendations in a three-volume report titled Powering Pakistan for the 21st Century for the federal government and governmental bodies working in science and technology. In the report, PAMS had recommended the allocation of more resources to maths and science at the federal level with a targeted spending plan, and to explore pathways for enabling and supporting talented students interested in maths and science.