KUCHING: Minister of Education, Innovation and Talent Development Datuk Roland Sagah Wee Inn recently led a delegation on a working trip to the United Kingdom to meet with several educational and research establishments.
The main objective of the visit was to have a better understanding of the Raspberry Pi learning contents and usage for students and teachers.
The first meeting was held with the Raspberry Pi Foundation in Cambridge where Sagah and his delegation were welcomed by Philip Coligan, the chief executive officer of Raspberry Pi Foundation, Martin O’Hanlon, the senior learning manager and Mark Calleja, the learning manager.
The highlight of the meeting with the Raspberry Pi Foundation was a hands-on introductory coding session for the visitors, where they learned to use the Raspberry Pi computer and Scratch programming to simulate an electrical circuit that activates LED lights.
“The meeting was a fruitful one as the delegation had the opportunity to also visit the foundation’s workplace, makers-space, and learn about the standards established for educational programmes utilising the Raspberry Pi.
“As an outcome of the meeting, the ministry and the Raspberry Pi Foundation will hold further discussions to collaborate and conduct suitable programmes and activities targeting students and teachers in Sarawak, garner participation from Sarawak in the foundation’s annual online coding competitions, as well as a collaboration to establish a Raspberry Pi research centre in the upcoming Sarawak Science Centre,” a statement from the ministry said.
As part of its planning and strategy in establishing research and talent development partnerships between Sarawak Infectious Disease Centre (SIDC) and the foundation, the delegation also met with a team from Imperial College, London to discuss areas of infectious disease particularly in disease surveillance, data analytics, molecular diagnostics and therapeutic development.
“Communicating science to the community is an important component in translating research findings to the population, and we laude SIDC’s effort to engage the public through its COVID awareness workshop and COVID vaccine serology study,” said Alexander Page, Imperial College’s Senior International Relations Officer for Asia.
As a result of the meeting, SIDC has proposed a project to set up a real time disease surveillance programme identified by Prof Charles Bragham of Imperial College as one of the projects that his team will follow up on to partner with the SIDC.
The delegation also agreed in principle to have a collaboration for students and staff exchange programmes.
The human capital development programme will start based on projects, which eventually, will evolve into a long-term human capital development programme for the centre.
Sagah also met with a team at the Science Museum in London as part of Sarawak’s efforts in establishing its own Science Centre.
During the meeting, the delegation was briefed on the operational and sustainability model of the London Science Museum, its strategy in engaging with its audience and creating curiosity in the sciences, as well as its STEM outreach and educational programmes.
The delegation was also briefed on how the Science Museum develops and manages its permanent, thematic and travelling exhibitions.
On hand to brief the delegation were Helen Jones (director of Global Engagement), Alistair Otto (associate commercial director), Ling Lee (interpretation manager, Science Museum Exhibition and Interpretation), Susan Raikes (director of Learning) and Maren Krumdieck (head of Cultural and Commercial Partnerships).
Sagah and his delegation were also given a tour of interactive exhibits and activities in the Science Museum.
An outcome of the visit is that the Ministry and the Science Museum has agreed to further discuss areas in which Sarawak and the Science Museum can collaborate for exhibits, content and programmes for the upcoming Sarawak Science Centre, in addition to the Science Museum’s continuous professional development programmes for STEM teachers and communicators.
The Sarawak delegation to the United Kingdom comprised Deputy Ministers for Talent Development, Datuk Francis Harden Hollis and Dr Annuar Rapaee, Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Education, Innovation and Talent Division Datuk Kameri Affandi, Deputy State Attorney General Saferi Ali, ands officers from the Ministry, the Sarawak Research and Development Council, Clinical Research Centre of the Sarawak General Hospital, and Swinburne University of Technology, Sarawak.