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President Alvi stresses on STEM education for nation’s development

The president emphasised the need to focus on the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Source: PID.

ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi on Wednesday inaugurated the STEM programme to impart training in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics to students.

Addressing the inaugural ceremony, the president emphasised the need to focus on the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. The president urged teachers and parents to encourage students in increasing their curiosity in these subjects. He said mathematics provides foundations to logic.

He said it is need of the hour to have special focus on STEM education for development and progress so that Pakistan does not lag behind. “China produces around 4.7 million graduates in STEM subjects every, while India produces around 2.6 million and Iran 350,000,” he said comparing to neigbouring countries. “So where do we stand?”

Under the programme, training will be provided in the field of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) to Matric and intermediate students. Students in STEM classes will be selected based on their ability and talent.

The Ministry of Science and Technology is launching this pilot project in 50 government higher secondary schools, which would be implemented across Pakistan, including Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

The programme, which will train students in STEM subjects, will be launched by the Ministry of Science and Technology in 50 government-run higher secondary schools across the country. Students of grades 9 to 12 will be enrolled in the pilot programme and selected based on their ability and talent.

In a message ahead of the programme’s launch, Minister for Science and Technology Shibli Faraz said STEM subjects had acquired special importance in the world.

The minister said the programme was planned in 2020 and his team worked day and night to give it “practical shape”. He said the programme would be introduced in 50 schools initially and special laboratories would be built and teachers would be given specific training.

“These schools will also be associated with universities. The schools have been selected purely on merit, not political reasons,” he said, adding that the programme would have three aspects — labs, teacher training and STEM modules. He added that a new era of progress will start as STEM schools will give a new direction to the education system to make students competitive globally.

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry termed the programme a “game changer”, saying he had designed the programme as the country will not change until government schools are modernised. “I am very happy that this plan is turning into a reality despite delays,” he said in a tweet.

The minister expressed hope that more schools would adopt the STEM model following its implementation in 50 schools initially. He said universities have been instructed to adopt schools and improve the level of science education.

Last year, Prime Minister Imran Khan had approved the STEM project. The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) had said that special laboratories for science and technology, engineering and mathematics would be established in 40 schools in the first phase. Around 100,000 children in 400 schools will have access to education and training in modern sciences through the project.