The unveiling of the Professor Emeritus Yves Quéré sculpture to signify the official launch of the Yves Quéré IBSE Pilot Centre at Sri Bestari Private School Kuala Lumpur by His Excellency Mr Roland Galharague, the French Ambassador to Malaysia together with Dato’ Dr Sharifah Maimunah Syed Zin, the Chairman of the Board of Governors on 7 April 2021 marked the official recognition accorded to one of the co-founders of La main à la pâte some 25 years ago for his utmost dedication and generosity is investing his time, energy and expertise in developing and spreading the Inquiry-based approach to the learning of Science in France, Malaysia and all around the world.
La main à la pâte was a combined effort of three (3) exceptional French Scientists namely Nobel Laureate Professor Georges Charpak, Professor Emeritus Pierre Léna and Professor Emeritus Yves Quéré who were all Physicists by profession. Nobel Laureate Dr. Leon Lederman from the United States of America started the pioneering work in IBSE in primary schools in the most depressed suburbs of Chicago and was the inspiration that dawn upon Nobel Laureate Professor Georges Charpak, Professor Pierre Léna and Professor Quéré of the French Academy of Sciences to set-up what we now refer to as the La Fondation La main à la pâte after receiving the endorsement by the Académie des Sciences, the Ecole Normale Supérieure (Paris) and the Ecole Normale Supérieure, Lyon in 2011.
In Malaysia, the driving force for the introduction of IBSE can be attributed to the most passionate advocate for inquiry-based in Science which is Dato’ Ir. Dr Lee Yee Cheong, the Honorary Chairman of ISTIC and former Chair of the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) who himself was inspired by Nobel Laureate Dr. Leon Lederman’s work with primary schools when he visited the USA together with Professor Yves Quéré in 2001. Dato’ Dr Lee fondly remembers the words of Nobel Laureate Leon Lederman when he introduced himself coming from Malaysia where the Nobel Laureate quipped, “believe me some suburbs of Chicago are more underdeveloped than Malaysia”. Dato’ Dr Lee was so inspired by Dr Ledermen’s energy, drive and passion for IBSE where he had established the Leon Ledermen Education Center and the Teachers Academy of Mathematics and Science (TAMS) in Chicago that promotes and uplifts the continuing professional development of primary school Science and Mathematics teachers that moulded Dato’ Dr. Lee into an ardent convert for IBSE.
Dato’ Dr Lee Yee Cheong together with Professor Yves Quéré collaborated closely for more than 20 years with numerous memorable visits to Malaysia and Paris that culminates with the official launch of the Yves Quéré IBSE Pilot Centre here at Sri Bestari Private School Kuala Lumpur. According to Dato’ Dr. Lee, the success of any education programme begins with societal respect for teachers in their training, remuneration and continued professional development.
Since the start of IBSE at the school in 2016, continuous training workshops were carried out by the International Science, Technology and Innovation Centre (ISTIC) together with La main à la pâte. On many occasions, programmes were initiated by the teachers themselves with their counterparts from the other five (5) schools in Malaysia implementing the IBSE programme. This is highly commendable as the teachers carry out their own research into IBSE from rich number of resources provided by La main à la pâte and based on their own experience in the classroom had structured the training programmes for teachers to converge and share their expertise. Teachers found that by teaching and explaining the principles of IBSE to their colleagues, their understanding and awareness of IBSE is further enhanced as with the common adage, “By teaching, we learn”.