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Astronomy in the Developing World: Mozambique as a case study

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Presentation by Valério Ribeiro

Presentation by Valério Ribeiro

Published in: Education, Technology
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  • 1. Astronomy in the Developing World: Mozambique as a case study Valério A. R. M. Ribeiro (vribeiro@ast.uct.ac.za) SA SKA Fellow, Department of Astronomy, University of Cape Town Auxiliary Professor, Department of Physics, University Eduardo Mondlane Leiden 19th June 2012
  • 2. OutlineDeveloping WorldMozambican statisticsBackgroundAstronomy outreachFuture PlansConclusions Source: CIA World Factbook
  • 3. Developing WorldThe Least Developed Countries represent the poorest and weakest segment of theinternational community. They comprise more than 880 million people (about 12 percent of world population), but account for less than 2 percent of world GDP andabout 1 percent of global trade in goods.The countries identified as Least Developed Countries by the UN(www.unohrlls.org/en/ldc/164/): gross national income per capita ($307) -- 3 year-year average < $905. human assets index (27.5) -- percentage of population undernourished, mortality rate for children aged five years or under, the gross secondary enrollment ratio and adult literacy rate. economic vulnerability index (48.7) -- population size, remoteness, merchandise export concentration, share of agriculture, forestry and fisheries in gross domestic product, share of population living in low elevated coastal zones, instability of exports of goods and services, victims of natural disasters and instability of agricultural production.These are 48 countries, 33 in Africa, including Mozambique (1988).
  • 4. Mozambican StatisticsPopulation 23,049,621 (2011)44.5% 0-14 year olds, 52.7% 15-64 year olds and 2.8%65+ year oldsLanguage: Portuguese; 32 other languageEducation is free however, compulsory until year 12In Primary school (years 1-7) 5 million (2009)In Secondary school (years 8-12) 430,000 (2009)There are 2 state and 11 private Universities and 7Superior InstitutesUniversity undergraduate degrees: 4 years forlicenciatura
  • 5. BackgroundEarly 1900s Portuguese Military personnel madeastronomical observations of the solar eclipse1907 - Frederico Oom tasked with acquiringmaterial and building the then LourençoMarques ObservatoryAround the same period, Captain GagoCoutinho observed the night skyNot really sure what happened after this period
  • 6. BackgroundThere was an inactive telescope on top of one of thebuildings at Universidade Eduardo Mondlane (UEM)1997 an academic at UEM and students tried tocreate conditions for astronomy, unsuccessfully!2004/2005 plans drawn by students from thePhysics Department at UEM and the PortugueseSuperior Technical Institute2007 UNESCO announces 2009 as the InternationalYear of Astronomy
  • 7. Astronomy OutreachPlanned activities: Seminars and observations in schools, by local and international speakers about astronomy - March, June and October Exhibitions at the Ministry Science and Technology Promote Astronomy with TV, radio and articles to be written in national newspapers and magazines Create conditions for an Amateur Astronomy Society
  • 8. Night with planetsSeminars at the university level
  • 9. UNAWE
  • 10. Galileo Teacher Training Program
  • 11. Future PlansNear Future Establish an Amateur Astronomical Society - SLOWLY Investigate history of astronomy in Mozambique - SLOWLY Further improve links with other countries - IN PROGRESS Secure funding for the long term - NOT YET 3 lectures at UEM have been successful in applying for PhD (2) and MSc (1) program with the South Africa - Brazil partnership - IN PROGRESS UEM arranging a visiting lectureship program for two months of the year to teach introductory astronomy -- DONE Build a small dome on roof of the Physics Department at UEM for a small telescope - AWAITING FUNDING Work in partnership with the Ministry of Science and Technology in order to include astronomy in the Maluana Science Park - SLOWLYLong term Implement further courses at university - IN PROGRESS Study potential sites for a research observatory (optical?) - SLOWLY Fully integrate astronomy into the society - IN PROGRESS SKA dish - IN PROGRESS???
  • 12. Future PlansNear Future Establish an Amateur Astronomical Society - SLOWLY Investigate history of astronomy in Mozambique - SLOWLY Further improve links with other countries - IN PROGRESS Secure funding for the long term - NOT YET 3 lectures at UEM have been successful in applying for PhD (2) and MSc (1) program with the South Africa - Brazil partnership - IN PROGRESS UEM arranging a visiting lectureship program for two months of the year to teach introductory astronomy -- DONE Build a small dome on roof of the Physics Department at UEM for a small telescope - AWAITING FUNDING Work in partnership with the Ministry of Science and Technology in order to include astronomy in the Maluana Science Park - SLOWLYLong term Implement further courses at university - IN PROGRESS Study potential sites for a research observatory (optical?) - SLOWLY Fully integrate astronomy into the society - IN PROGRESS SKA dish - IN PROGRESS???
  • 13. Conclusions/ThoughtsIYA2009 has been an excellent opportunity to put astronomy in themind of our peers in MozambiqueAstronomy is well on its way in to the University system, we need tostart thinking about school systemHow long will the momentum last?How many more people can we bring into Astronomy?We should explore further partnership with countries with wellestablished astronomy communities and learn from those that arenew and recentWe need to get the different groups with interest in astronomy to talkwith each other to create closer links (UEM - MST - UP)It is a long road ahead
  • 14. “Kanimambo”http://astromozaia2009.weebly.com

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