STEM Project to help Pakistan accelerate workforce development

January 25, 2023

The public sector development programme "Launching of STEM in Pakistan–Phase-I" reached a number of milestones during the fiscal year 2021–22, which will help the country accelerate its workforce development efforts in anticipation of the Fifth Industrial Revolution.

An official stated that the Pakistan Science Foundation (PSF), under the Ministry of Science and Technology, is responsible for carrying out the project. Training modules for Grades IX–XII have been developed since the project's launch on August 10, 2021, and correspondence with national stakeholders - such as the National Curriculum Council, the Federal Directorate of Education, and Aga Khan University - has been made for this purpose. This has paved the way for the creation of a consolidated document in this regard.

Additionally, 76 renowned scientists throughout the country were asked to contribute experiments for STEM. Moreover, a tender for the creation of Training Modules on STEM Education is under way and is expected to be finished by December 2022. 50 higher secondary schools (HSSs) or cadet colleges have been chosen, by converting their current labs into Mini STEM FABLABs as part of the STEM initiative in addition to teacher training programmes and module development on STEM education.

Each school received a payment of Rs1 million for the creation of the FABLABS, which would provide students the chance to receive practical instruction on cutting-edge tools like Design Computers, 3D Printers, Vinyl Cutters, and Robotics, eventually preparing young minds for a better future.

Through a tender, the work of procuring IT equipment was finished during the fiscal year 2021–22, and various pieces of IT equipment were bought and installed at the STEM PSF Academy. With the help of federal and provincial stakeholders and education departments, the PSDP "Launching of STEM in Pakistan, Phase-I" was started as an umbrella project that would be carried out concurrently throughout the country.

The STEM project's main goals are to coordinate the delivery of specialised national and international capacity building programmes on STEM education for science teachers and to officially launch STEM, the modern tool for promoting science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education in Pakistan, at 50 HSSs and cadet colleges in the first phase.

The goals included coordinating the creation, introduction, and adoption of contemporary educational tools and interventions for STEM, such as STEM frameworks and global best practises; providing youths with meaningful learning through hands-on experiences, improving their cognitive abilities; and developing entrepreneurship skills among students through STEM education to make them job providers rather than job seekers.

The Developmental Department Working Party of the ministry authorised the development project "Launching of STEM in Pakistan, Phase-I (Revised)" at its meeting in August 2021. It would cost Rs993.784 million and last 36 months. On October 15, 2021, the ministry granted administrative permission.

Credit : Independent News Pakistan-WealthPk