What is STEM education?
STEM education consists of four major categories: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. It is an interdisciplinary approach to education. Here, theoretical concepts from the classroom are coupled with real-life lessons, and it is revolutionizing teaching techniques around the world. STEM is not just bound to school subjects rather it gives a whole set of new skills and experience and governs our thinking patterns and behavior. It prepares the students for real-life challenges through its core value of flexibility and curiosity and helps students to unlock their true potential.
Why STEM education is necessary?
Science taught students how to think, learn, solve problems, and help in making informed decisions. Critical thinking and problem-solving technique are two main tools of scientific investigation. The importance of having scientific knowledge and literacy can be understood from an event during the first wave of the covid-19 pandemic, where information was spreading like a fire on social media that alcohol and sauna are very effective against the virus. This is human nature that if something is concerned with our health and safety we tend to act quickly and emotionally, people started buying alcohol and visiting sauna frequently. This information was not incorrect but scientifically or experimentally it was not proved that alcohol or sauna is effective against the virus. This is Scientific knowledge that can help us differentiate between facts and disinformation, otherwise, we will be lost in the ocean of information.
Why technology is important in our daily lives? Again, we must look at the Covid-19 pandemic and how technology helped countries to make an informed decision at the right time, and how it helped to fight back the disease. In the 13th or 14th century, a disease known as a black dead emerged from China. There was no means of communication to inform the rest of the world about the newly born virus. This disease wiped out more than half of the population of the world. In the 21st century, the news spread to the whole world within a month or two about the newborn virus, and each country took precautionary measures. The drones were used in China to enforce the law and guide citizens about highly infected areas. This is just one example, there are numerous such examples of the importance of advanced technology in the 21st century.
Engineering is used in solving complex problems and its design product that make our life simple and secure. Engineering is also all around us, from construction to aeronautics, medicine to the environment, and even the chair I am sitting in is the bestow of engineering.
Mathematics is a branch of science that deals with numbers and measurement. It helps to make decisions based on available data and solve everyday life problems. Math help in developing logical reasoning abilities, critical thinking, creative thinking, and effective communication skills. It also encourages problem-solving abilities. All these show how important stem education in every walk of our life is.
What are the benefits of implementing stem education in Pakistan?
This year we will celebrate the 75th birthday of Pakistan. After so many years we are still economically unstable, we are lagging many countries in development indicators, corruption and lawlessness are still serious issues in Pakistan.
Our educational system at every level encourages the memorization of knowledge. Our educational system needs reforms focusing on creativity and innovation, instead of rote learning, through critical thinking and advanced scientific and technological tools.
Along with personal development, STEM education helps in the country’s development. Education is a weapon that strengthens a nation by reducing poverty, bringing financial stability, and by increasing the employment and literacy rate. The introduction of Stem education into our current educational system will provide an opportunity for Pakistan to improve its economic performance through advanced technologies, critical thinking, innovation, and skillful labor.
Thus, the introduction of stem education is the only solution for Pakistan to change its status from a developing to a developed nation. The government of Pakistan is the main body to ensure that every kid has excess to basic stem education.
National university of science and technology Islamabad