Proper education in Astronomy in schools and Universities is a significant factor in cultivating students to become scientific minded youths. Observations of stars and astronomical objects with appropriate telescopes would help students studying this subject more interesting. The proposed project aims to address the following challenges:
(i) lack of human resources (ii) lack of syllabus and curriculum of Astronomy Education (iii) lack of basic instruments such as telescopes and (iv) lack of public awareness.
The educational system of Myanmar is government-operated. There are 158 Universities in total under the management of Ministry of Education. There are three types of Universities, the Arts and Science Universities including our University (Mandalay University), University of Computer Science and Technological Universities.
Role of Astronomy Education in Myanmar Universities has diminished for decades due to the various reasons. In the old time, there were a number of lecturers who offered astronomy courses in Physics and Mathematics Departments. However, after they got retired, in new generation, there remains very few staff in this field and a small portion of Astronomy is provided in undergraduate course of Mathematics. We are aware of the significance of Astronomy and Astrophysics and would like to revitalize and promote Astronomy Education in Myanmar Universities.
Physics Department of Mandalay University will take a leading role in implementing this project since Mandalay University is the oldest University in upper Myanmar and is offering degrees and diplomas including Ph.Ds. We are planning to introduce the basic course of Astronomy and Astrophysics for undergraduate students in coming Academic year 2017. However, the challenging problems encountering in this endeavor are lack of human resources, requirements of refreshing courses for faculty, needs of assistance from expertise for syllabus and curriculum development.
Under this project, 8 members would visit to NARIT in 2017 to develop appropriate syllabus and curriculum for Astronomy in undergraduates with an assistance of NARIT staff. After their return, a workshop on Astronomy education will be held in Mandalay University inviting at least a staff from each University in Myanmar to discuss and approve the syllabus and curriculum.
We hope this project would give us a good opportunity to achieve our goal of revitalizing Astronomy Education in Myanmar University, Myanmar.