Roundtable on ways and means of carrying out research activities by students

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“The curriculum for research should be arranged and prepared on the basis of theory and outside knowledge”

Rector Professor Dr. Theingi of Technological University (Thanlyin)

  • By Naing Lynn Kyi

 

The MRTV broadcast round table discussion on the ways and means being carried out at the research activities by the students. The panelists are Dr. Than Htaik Soe, Principal of BEHS (11) in Aung Myay Thar San Township, Mandalay Region; Dr. Ni Ni Than, Chemistry Department of Yangon Arts and Science University; Rector Professor Dr. Theingi, Technological University (Thanlyin); Dr. Than Than Win, Deputy Director-General of Higher Education Department; Dr. Hpyu Hpyu Win, Deputy Director-General, Department of Research and Innovation; Dr. Thair Maung Maung, Professor (Head of Department), Department of UAV Research, Myanmar Aerospace Engineering University (MAEU).

Moderator: Please explain the subject of today’s discussion.
Dr. Than Than Win: Today, we will discuss how the research activities are being carried out by the students from the basic education level to the higher education level. We will also discuss how to draw their interest and how to inject good habits over the research activities covering basic education schools as well as the research activities at the universities.

Moderator: Kindly explain the ways and mean in drawing their interest in the research activities.
Dr. Than Htaik Soe: At the moment, we are conducting and imparting small skill concept and practical activities. In fact, the advantage of the latest small skill concept does not actually require the large practical halls.
The teachers and the faculty members could carry out the task in their own lecture rooms by dividing the students into small groups, resulting with the teaching methodology more dynamic and vibrant.
Moreover, the students at the basic level have gained the experience of practical approach along with the mindset of research activities, which is the basic paradigm of standard education.

Moderator: Inspiring the concept of research, what are the steps in nurturing the students?
Dr. Than Htaik Soe: In our basic education system, we have the subject on environmental education, and we invited skillful persons for the activities, where they instructed in drawing green map in Mandalay. Students went outdoors and draw green maps on the schools, the environments, the towns and villages, which embedded their souls with the love of the environment as well as the research activities. When they enrolled at various universities, they could be transformed as the professionals.

Moderator: We learned that the new science subject has been written with the concept of exploration. Please elaborate.
Dr. Ni Ni Than: In the science subject being prescribed for kindergarten to class (12) level, they are written on activity base approach. We want the students to understand the lessons well and also wished them to have interest in the research activities. In this way, they would understand the lessons very well instead of rote learning.
We will provide the students with the observation skill along with the knowledge of science process at each and every level of classes.
At this juncture, we would like to advice the teachers to take in all the students in divided groups in the participation of the research activities based on the new curriculum. Demonstrations and competitions events on science are to be conducted with the participation of the students from middle schools and high schools.

Moderator: Please clarify the ways and means in enhancing the research work.
Dr. Ni Ni Than: Each and every year, our universities conducted many events in terms of high competitions on science subject, beginning from first year to the doctorate status with the participation in groups for presenting projects prepared by themselves.
The competitions are awarded with many prizes by the authorities as well as by Arts and Sciences Association. Moreover, the research papers and thesis are also awarded every year. With these backdrops, we found that the student have been highly inspired with the interest on research activities.

Moderator: What should be supplemented for research activity at university levels?
“The curriculum for university students should be arranged and prepared according to research based on theory and outside knowledge. Students must be assigned more projects that help them develop the approach and mindset for research.”Dr. Theingi
After the lectures, the relevant discussions are to be followed with the question and answer sessions, and explore the level of understanding of the students through assessment and analysis. When the analysis is carried out over the level of the students, we would come to know on the fact that of the students actually acquired the knowledge, that of in reality understand the lessons, that of the applicability in real life, and that of embracing into creative thinking. When the faculty members could impart the students with certain level of understanding, then they would be able to roll smoothly into research activities.

Moderator: What would be needed for the successful completion of a research work?
Dr. Theingi: In a research work, we need to assign a supervisor who must be well versed in research event, and to allot sufficient time of implementation with all the necessary paraphernalia and laboratory.
Perhaps, the references from the library would be necessary along with the utility of ICT in the research work, and above all, the adequate funds must be provided.
Regarding supervisors, they must have ample understanding on research methodology, the research management, the research training, and therefore, the teachers have been imparted and infused with training courses including post graduate degrees in the country as well as abroad being arranged by the British Council and the JICA with the approval of the Ministry of Education.
The most important factor is the “research active” which stands as the correct ethic and moral philosophy. Higher Education Institutions generally define a “Research Active” individual as someone who conducts research on an ongoing basis and ensures it is a significant focus of their academic activity.

Moderator: What are the requisite for successful researches?
Dr. Theingi: For the development of research works, it is necessary and important to carry out continuously, and certain competitions and demonstrations are to be arranged for the students and the researchers with the subsequent presentations of awards and prizes.
The Ministry of Education has been organizing paper reading sessions in all universities in the context of research nature in addition to the printing of research papers and the publication of research journals.
The budget allocation for education is rising year on year, and therefore, the relevant universities are conducting necessary research works such as that of local and regional necessity, that of relevant research to the state, and that of the significant research on international aspects.
All the necessary research activities are to be carried out in cooperation among the students and the faculty members.

Moderator: Please explain whether the research work is related only with science subject.
Dr. Than Than Win: Most of the students from the basic education as well as from the university thought and took it for granted that all the works done at the practical halls are the research work.
In fact, the popular subjects for arts are also taken up as research works and come under the purview of the research nature, which only a few people understand about it.
The subjects for arts are taken up into research works and given as assignment not to get the students bored in the study. The arts subjects are given out as assignments and rolled out into discussions to get the arts subject into interesting items.
The economic matters under the arts subjects could be taken up as research study without the practical halls or laboratory. Through the economic domain, the social matters and affairs could be taken up for research activity, and the assessments and the evaluations could be utilized for the development of the nation. This is the message that all the students must understand and convinced regarding the research sphere.

Moderator: Without the practical halls, what are the other subjects that could be taken up for research activities?
Dr. Than Than Win: The arts subjects that do not require practical halls could be handed out as assignment after the lectures, and that the assignments could be extracted from the libraries as well as from the E-Book, which could be exchanged and discussed as the observations in the class rooms followed by knowledge sharing.
This is the start of a study and a research activity that could be developed into the finer habits and characteristics of research program. It could also take up as interesting art subject transforming into research category, and adopt and nurture the good habits of using libraries for the development of research works for the greater good of the nation.

(To be continued)

Translated by UMT (Ahlon)

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