STEM Education

August 10, 2019 in General



STEM Education

STEM is a curriculum based on the idea of
educating students in four specific disciplines — science, technology,
engineering and mathematics — in an interdisciplinary and applied approach

Why STEM Education?

We’re facing the challenges and benefits of both globalization and a knowledge-based economy. This is the 21st century, scientific and technological innovations have become increasingly important. If we want our upcoming generations to succeed in this new information-based society, students need to develop their capabilities in STEM to levels much beyond what was acceptable in the past.

The importance of STEM education

Instead of teaching kids the four disciplines as
separate subjects, STEM integrates them into a cohesive learning paradigm based
on real-world applications.

What separates STEM from
Traditional education?

What separates STEM from traditional education is the blended learning environment and showing students how can they apply scientific methods to their daily lives. It helps students to think computationally and focuses on problem solving and real-world applications.

Careers

Careers for
the students who opt for STEM Education from the very beginning

  • Computing – 71 per cent
  • Traditional Engineering – 16 per cent
  • Physical sciences – 7 per cent
  • Life sciences – 4 per cent
  • Mathematics – 2 per cent

Pakistan is one of the most populated countries in the South Asian Region – faces serious issues of insufficient educational enrolment and poor quality primary at the primary school level. According to the World Economic Forum’s 2016 Human Capital report. In Pakistan, the youth literacy rate is just 75 per cent, which places the country far behind other emerging markets in the region as well as in the world.

Pakistan’s expenditure on
research and development

According to UNESCO data, Pakistan’s expenditure on research and development has also dropped substantially over the last 10 years. In 2015 Pakistan only spent one-quarter of one per cent of its GDP on research and development in the science, technology and innovation sector. The R&D expenditures make 0.397% of the total GDP against that of the 0.227% in the previous year i.e. 2018. This is highest in the 9 years.

In Pakistan, students are lagging behind in math and science education, according to a report by the Pakistan Alliance for Maths and Science. The study found that average scores for math and science on the National Education Assessment System all fell below 50 per cent. The reason behind the poor performance in math and science are factors such as historically bad teachers as well as “low-quality content” for teaching those subject areas. “In addition to the quality of content, how the material is taught is also a significant challenge. Pedagogical improvement is another area that needs attention,” stated in the report.

National
STEM School

A private-sector-driven, apolitical, non-profit platform created to help promote science and innovation within the private sector and the broader society at large.

The
Objectives of the program are:

To enable
young learners to understand what science really is, how scientists think (and
work)? To help young learners experience the excitement of hands-on science and
technology in a challenging yet cooperative environment. To impart the skillset
and excitement of ‘building’ things and doing ‘hands-on’ science thus creating
a culture of making in Pakistan.

Why is the STEM education a basic need
of Pakistan?

1. We need to focus on stem education so that students in upcoming generations will have a solid foundation in STEM, as a result, it will enable upcoming generations to work and compete in the 21st century.

2. 15-20% fastest-growing occupations require significant science and Mathematics training to successfully compete for a job, while the survey found that fewer students are pursuing advanced study in these areas.

3. Advanced Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education should be the main priority for our future success. Nation’s technological advancement depends on a continuous supply of highly trained and technically capable people in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. There should be a high-level collaboration among industry, educators, policymakers and families. So that our upcoming generations don’t lack Scientists, Engineers, Technologists and Mathematicians.

“The skills of learning today are more important than knowledge itself. We don’t know what jobs will exist in the future but we do know the skills we teach the students today will take them a long way. If we look at the world’s best education system rankings, you learn they have lesser time for regular in-class learning, in fact, a large part of it comprises of extracurricular activities.”

Zartaj Waseem, a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) educationist and a
software engineer.

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