A country active in scientific research is often one that has a strong power for innovation and wealth creation. Nevertheless, the optimal structure for such kind of research is still source of debate. Should it be the sole responsibility of the government?
Some people argue that it?s better for the government to control scientific research. They believe that research into nuclear technology, national defense or military intelligence is in the national interest or involves high levels of secrecy and should be carried out only by the government. Also, in basic scientific research which is directed purely towards the advancement of knowledge, or where results cannot be guaranteed, there is little incentive for the private sector to invest in these areas and therefore the governments take the leading role.
There are, however, reasons for private companies to participate in scientific research. Research is done more efficiently by private companies because they are profit driven; their products are also more closely associated with market needs. Research into simple articles such as cosmetics or cough medicine is not what the government is interested in, so it?s necessary for the private sector to invest in these areas because they are important for our daily lives.
From my point of view, both the governments and private companies should be actively involved in scientific research. We should encourage the cooperation between different research institutes including state-owned research centers, universities and corporate labs to accelerate the transfer of
technology and research into products and services that can benefit human life.
Q1. Let’s talk about your study plans for the future. Please tell me about your current studies.
Well, at the moment I?m enrolled in a language school. I?ve been doing an English for Academic Purposes class trying to get ready for my university studies and, of course, before that, my IELTS exam!
Q2. What is it you like most about your studies?
The teachers are very friendly at the language school. They make all the students feel real welcome. In fact, I?ve enjoyed getting to know many of the students at the language school. We?ve got students studying from all over the world – Thailand, China, one man is from Russia…um, a couple of students from France and…yes, and one from Brazil. It?s a really international class!
Q3. What do you like least about your studies?
Like least? Let me see…you know, that?s a difficult question because the teacher is great, the lessons are interesting and the facilities are also wonderful… not to mention the students! Like least…um, well I guess I?d have to say the English grammar is not something I particularly like. Our teacher described grammar as the engi ne of a car…you don?t need to be an expert mechanic to drive a car but it?s useful to know what is under the hood! I rather liked his definition but it doesn?t mean I like grammar any better!
Q4. Once you have finished your studies, what do you plan to do? Well, once I?ve finished at the language school, I want to study marketing. You see, my mother owns a marketing company and she?s been doing this for almost 10 years. She tells me that one day, “I?m going to be the CEO, the big
boss.” But before that can happen I must get my qualifications…so, I?ll be studying marketing at university. Actually, I?m very excited about marketing, it?s a very interesting subject with almost limitless opportunities. You could say it …runs in my family?!
Q5. Ok. Let’s chang e topics and talk about animals. Can you tell me about some of the different kinds of animals you have in your country? Yes, I?m from the Philippines and the local animals there are quite unique. I was reading the other day that we have almost 200 different kinds of reptiles! I was amazed by that figure myself but I?ve seen a few Philippine crocodiles and of course there are hundreds of different kinds of lizards that inhabit the tropical rainforests!
Did you know the Philippines is home to the smallest monkey in the world? We are very proud of this! The Tarsier is an amazing animal…he lives mostly on insects! He grows…well most people could fit him in the palm of their hand…I think an adult can reach around 150mm. But they are very fast little creatures!
Q6. What’s your favourite animal and why do you like it so much?
I?d have to say that dogs are my favourite animal. My family has a poodle and I love him! His name is Peppi and he is such a smart dog. He even acts as a kind of guard dog…if anyone comes n ear our house, he barks loudly – day or night! Of course his noise is loud but he couldn?t really hurt anyone!
Q7. What’s your least favourite animal? Why?
snakes in the Philippines and I must confess that I have a phobia of them! They don?t um…they seem so unfriendly, they don?t have any personality. Are they smiling or are they angry, you can?t tell by looking at their face. I don?t like that, it scares me.
Q8. Tell me about the variety of uses for animals in your country. For example, their use in farming, sports or other types of activities.
Well, I know that in the country areas, the poorer areas, oxen are used for some farming. Mostly however, my experience with animals is in the city and it?s here that they are used primarily as pets. People love to keep dogs and cats and birds. We have some very beautiful parrots in the Philippines which make beautiful pets – my family used to have a Cockatiel which we called …Charlie?. Some animals are used in sports…um, for example horse racing, which is one pop ular type of sport…um…I can?t think of any more at the moment.
Q9. Ok, now, let’s change topics again. This time, I’d like to talk about games. Tell me about some of the popular games people play in your country.
In my country, the popular games people p lay are….well, the most popular game is basketball. Although Filipinos are slightly at a disadvantage in terms of height, they are, I believe, among the best basketball players in the world! Every town plaza has a basketball court alongside the town hall and church. Even from an early age, boys start playing this game using a makeshift basket… it?s very popular among the males in our country.
Um…as far a card games go, for example, Mahjong is very popular in the Philippines…but most people like outdoor ga mes.
Q10. What is your favourite game to play? Why?
For me? Well, I must confess I like volleyball. I played it a lot in high school and I?m planning to continue playing it in University. I really enjoy the game, it helps me to keep fit. You know, it?s a very team-oriented kind of game. You can?t really be an individual and do well in volleyball. I like this aspect of the game, the teamwork element.
I would definitely never forget making a newspaper out of the different novels of William Shakespeare. Our English teacher has assigned us to write several news reports per novel. We had to cut the reports in several columns and paste the first two paragraphs in the front page and the next paragraphs many pages after. We had to write the report in the same manner as a real news writer would write it, and then cut and paste the articles in such a way that it would look like a real newspaper. At the same time, we are required to allot a space for the editorials where writers would express their point of view over a subject matter. And, we too, would put obituaries, movie sections, entertainment sections, sports sections, and business sections. I spent the whole December during our third year high school doing this project. This project was certainly unforgettable because I was even doing it over my Christmas holidays. How could I also forget having to invent characters and pictures plus titles for each newspaper sections mentioned above? That project was too large to be forgotten.
Q1. Why is it necessary to give projects to students?
Doing projects enables students to apply theory to practice. In other words, they can use what they have learned and understood from their lessons in class to solve real problems. Projects can spark students? initiative, challenge and enhance the, creativity, resourcefulness and patience of the students. Sometimes, certain projects can benefit not only the doer, but also the future students of the school as well. There are some enterprises nowadays that start only as a school project but blossom into a full swing business after a few months if not a year.
Q2. Do you think it will be better if school do not give projects to students?
A school would be considered imbalanced when it does not give any projects to the students at all. I have neither heard nor encountered any school that does not give even a single project. There are tons of occasions that a student show excellence in leadership and capability doing a certain project, and
he/she would find his/her career path during this procedure.
Q3. Do you think projects submitted should be graded or not?
Tests and examinations are being graded, and so do projects. The reason we grade or rate a certain thing is to determine how good it is or how much it can still be improved. In one case, bad grades tell us to try harder because we are not good enough in some areas. In another case, good grades encourage us to try something different because we have already proven that we are able to achieve a certain project satisfactorily if not excellently.