SIBU: A thorough effort must be done to improve enrolment in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in school.
According to Minister for Education, Innovation and Talent Development Datuk Roland Sagah Wee Inn, the current enrolment of STEM package classes in Sarawak was only about 30 per cent, a slight increase from last year but still far below the ministry’s target of 60 per cent by 2030.
“The smaller number of enrolment in STEM package class at Form 4 and 5 level would mean that even smaller number of entries into the technical and STEM courses in tertiary education.
“This means that we need to work extra hard to achieve our target of 60 per cent by 2030 as outlined under the Post Covid Developmental Strategy (PCDS 2030).”
Sagah pointed out that the initiatives to enhance STEM education and to produce qualified and adequate students in STEM fields could be done through two steps firstly, improving teachers’ skills and abilities.
“To create innovative STEM education, we must focus on engagement. Students must be engaged in the learning of science and mathematics.
“Therefore, we hope that all our Science and Mathematics teachers attending this workshop on 21st Century Learning will take this opportunity to learn as much as possible of the new skills shared by the trainers and apply them wisely in their teaching and learning in their respective schools.”
The second step would be by increasing students’ interest and willingness to participate in the new teaching and learning approach in STEM subjects.
“When students are interested in the subjects, they will try to find out and learn more about the subject. Eventually, they will improve in the subjects.”
Sagah emphasised the importance of community leaders, parents, the public, school counsellors, and all stakeholders to continue to support the ministry’s endeavours.
“To sustain a supportive STEM education ecosystem, all stakeholders must work together to create a connected learning network that benefits everyone.
“Multiple stakeholders have a role to play in supporting our students’ STEM education experience. Creating a sustainable STEM education ecosystem is the responsibility of society as a whole and a key role in enabling and encouraging our students to become active in STEM education.”
Also present were Deputy Minister for Education, Innovation and Talent Development Dr Annuar Rapaee; Husini Bakir, the representative of the ministry’s permanent secretary; Dr Les Met, deputy director of Learning Sector, representing the director of the Sarawak Education Department, and Etam Linggi, Song District education officer.