Decline in number of science students worry
In the Solomon Islands, Pacific meteorological services are concerned about the declining number of students showing interest in science subjects.
The Climate Prediction Services Coordinator for the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Program (S.P.R.E.P.), Sunny Seuseu, says with the rise in technology in the discipline, the need for more qualified meteorologists grows.
But students are not interested in studying science, he noted.
“There are many elements to the problem. One of them is that a lot of the students going into tertiary education don’t want to take the hard courses. I’m talking about physics and mathematics,” he said.
“It’s an ongoing struggle to promote taking up this profession and area of study.”
“There is a need to improve meteorological services in the Pacific. To cater to aviation, marine, and to the public. To do that, we need better infrastructure and there must be a balance in manpower and technology in challenging the issue.”
Asked whether it would cost millions, he said: “It’s millions that will save lives.”
He says the government emphasis tends to be lenient on health and education.
“Our governments are usually pushing to health and education, always leaning towards having more educators,” he added.
With the heavy promotion on putting teachers in classrooms and doctors into hospitals, he believes this leaves science education in a rift.
“For us, we’re left to promote meteorology to at least have two students on scholarship to study overseas,” he said.
“In order to do that, we need better funding; we need funding and opportunities.”
S.P.R.E.P is hosting a media training for more than 30 journalists from the Pacific ahead of the 4th Pacific Meteorological Council on August 14 - 18.