‘Focus On STEM Subjects Vital To Prepare For IR 4.0’

The Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR4.0) will be a curse and not a boon if Sarawak faces it unprepared, says Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Dato Sri Michael Manyin.

Speaking at the official launch of Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Sarawak Samarahan Campus STEM Fair 2017 here yesterday, Manyin pointed out that 90 per cent of jobs in IR4.0 will be engineering and science-based.

As this is a great concern to his ministry, he said they are focusing on two things � science, technology, engineering and mathematic (STEM), and English.

The national target for STEM education is 60 per cent, with 40 per cent in science while the remaining 20 per cent are in technical studies.

However in Sarawak, it is very low. We only have 23.5 per cent, with 19.7 per cent in science and 3.8 per cent in the technical field. This needs improvement.

Manyin added his ministry found that students lose interest in STEM at a young age as a result of various factors such as insufficient school facilities and teachers who were not trained to teach science.

By Form 4 to Form 6, only 15 per cent of students are left in the Science stream, and by the time they get to university, only 10 per cent are left out of the 23.5 per cent.

He added that he does not blame teachers for having to step out of their field of speciality and teach something they are not properly equipped for.

This is one of the ways students in primary school lose interest in STEM.

Education, Science and Technological Research Ministry permanent secretary Datu Sudarsano Osman and deputy permanent secretary Prof Dr Abdul Rahman Deen were among those present.

Also present from UiTM Sarawak were its rector Professor Dato Dr Jamil Hamali, and Research and Industrial Linkages deputy rector Associate Professor Dr Rasidah Mahadi.

STEM Fair 2017 is an effort to discover talent and develop interest in the STEM field among youngsters, including 225 students visiting from primary schools around Kuching and Samarahan.

It involves various relevant agencies and departments, and will run for two days.

Source: The Borneo Post