It is very unusual in a science class to see people joke or play. Often, science classes are the ‘book-minded’ type. Apart from their academics, they hardly involve themselves in other extra curricular activities.
A lecturer in the department of veterinary nursing of the University for Development Studies; Dr. Osman A. Dufailu is on a journey to change that norm.
The lecturer who has always been complaining about the ‘chew, pass and forget’ attitude of students, has over the years changed his mode of teaching as well as examination. According to him, it is best for a student to get a ‘C’ in a course and be able to work well or apply the knowledge to solve problems than scoring an ‘A’ and it cannot benefit society.
The lecturer today, Thursday, February 13, 2020, used his lecture period for his level 300 Biotechnology and Molecular Biology students to perform a drama on metabolism which he lectures. Instead of just feeding them with information, Dr. Dufailu divided the class into three groups, each of whom acted on the key topics in the course.
Group one did a drama on glycolysis which is the first step in energy break down. The glucose produced by the body is broken down into pyruvate. It can take place with or without the presence of oxygen.
The next group acted on gluconeogenesis which is the synthesis of glucose from nonsugar precursors, such as pyruvate, lactate and the carbon skeleton of glucogenic amino acids.
Gluconeogenesis occurs in the liver and kidneys.
The last but not the least group, acted on the krebs cycle. Also known as the citric acid cycle, the krebs cycle is a major source of energy for living organisms and an essential reaction in biochemistry.
After the acts from all the groups, each member in the groups were asked questions to assess their understanding of the course. He then scored them based on the way they answered the questions and the way they acted.
Dr. Dufailu said even though they are not professional actors, the play is to let what they learn stick in their minds.
He is the founder and director of HERPol Africa, a youth-led organisation consisting of volunteers from tertiary institutions who tries to solve society’s problems through education, research and empowerment. Dr. Dufailu is also the patron of Northern students for liberty.
Story: Zakaria Abdul-Hakim