19 Dec 2022
University of Rwanda, College of Science and Technology (CST) celebrated the international year of basic sciences for sustainable development (IYBSSD), an event proclaimed for this year by UNESCO. The ceremony was held at UR Nyarugenge Campus Muhazi Hall. Participants were UR Nyarugenge community, UR guests and partners such as the CEO of Rwanda Atomic Energy Board, the DG of NIRDA, the representative of the French embassy, the representative of the Sweden embassy in Kigali, the representatives of Master Card Foundation in Rwanda and UR and students from selected high schools in Kigali.
In his welcoming remarks, the principal of UR CST, Dr. Ignace Gatare acknowledged the presence of all the participants and highlighted the SDGs goal 4 which is quality education making it clear that with the focus on basic sciences it will enhance the problem-solving culture. “If we achieve goal 4 we will achieve the rest of the goals”. He went on reminding the role played by CST to assist the government to achieve the SDGs. “The programs offered by the CST are aligned with the development goals, the programs are based on insuring that the students become responsible citizens and build their capacity and that’s the beauty of science”.
The celebration had quite an interesting debating panel from Four departments in this College; mathematics, biology, chemistry, and physics. This was openly discussing the linkage between basic sciences and its impact on the SDGs, starting with the Head of Department of mathematics Dr Celestin Kurujyibwami who shared how mathematics will be there to solve problems; serve the community relying on the background of mathematics and to use it to critically think. “Science is not for scientists; it is for the people”, he said.
The representative of the Head of Department of biology Mr. Peter Rwibasira said biology means life, he reminded that human beings depend on the ecosystem and that some problems are a result of the imbalance; people looking for human development and not considering nature resulting into pollution and climate changes which are irreversible but “biology shows us how to live with nature and the link is sustainability, we are not only focused on the current needs but we are also planning ahead”, he said.
Dr Jean Felix Rukerabigwi, the acting Head of Department of chemistry proved how the science of matter is everything. “For everything there is chemistry behind”. He highlighted chemistry’s contribution in most of the SDGs as it is involved in food, agriculture, health and environment. He concluded saying that basic sciences are complementary.
The Head of physics department Dr. Deogratias Ntirikwendera in the discussion said that physics deal with understanding how the nature behaves with different laws, laws of physics applied in life. “Physics is our daily life and is behind any kind of technology you can imagine” any type of engineering is based on physics.
The ceremony closed by awarding laptops to 8 students; 5 females and 3 males from 5 high schools which are Ecole des Sciences Byimana, GS St Aloys Rwamagana, Ecole des Sciences de Musanze, Petit Seminaire St Leon Kabgayi, and Gashora Girls Academy Of Science and Technology who won in Rwanda Mathematics Competition (RMC). The awards were given by the Master Card Foundations.
The International year of basic sciences for sustainable development was proclaimed by the 76th session of the United Nations General assembly on 2 December 2021 for 2022 stressing that the applications of basic sciences are vital for advances in medicine, agriculture, industry, water resources, energy planning and environment, and that basic sciences rupture technologies respond to the needs of humankind by providing access to information and increasing societal well-being, and promoting peace through improved collaboration toward Sustainable Development Goals.
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