KOTA KINABALU,. Efforts are underway to establish a National STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Learning Centre to produce capable teachers who are passionate about the subjects.
Science, Technology and Innovation (Mosti) Minister Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau said an Institute of Teacher Education Campus (IPG) has been chosen for transformation into the proposed STEM centre.
“We need more passionate teachers in science,” said Madius, who added that a RM25 million allocation was made for the centre’s establishment, as announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak during the tabling of the 2018 Budget.
A collaborative initiative between Mosti and the Education Ministry, the National STEM Centre will be modelled after an establishment in York, the United Kingdom, which boosts proficiency and skills in science and maths among students and educators.
“In 1967, the Malaysian government had set a target of 60 per cent of students taking up science.
“However… research revealed that less than 21 per cent (of students) have been eligible to take up science (over the years),” he said.
Madius was speaking to the Sabah media fraternity during the Mosti-Media Night event here on Sunday.
He said of the 21 per cent of eligible students, only 18 per cent actually went on to take up science as a subject – and that a report due this year will show that the figure is decreasing.
“That’s why (Mosti) is (presenting strategies and programmes to address the issue) to the National Science Council, chaired by the Prime Minister. Hence the need for the National STEM action plan,” Madius added.
He stressed that there is a need for technological foresight, which will be demonstrated in an upcoming documentary, produced by the Ministry through the Malaysian Science Academy, entitled Envisioning Malaysia 2050.
“Mosti is also advocating that other ministries have their own policies on science, innovation and technology to boost productivity and efficiency,” Madius added.