The government seems to have realized that Pakistan is far behind in quality STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) education. Ahsan Iqbal, Minister of Planning, Development, and Reform, is now taking steps to promote scientific education in the country, as an integral part of the government’s Vision 2025.
Ahsan Iqbal chaired a meeting of education and science experts in order to formulate a National Plan of Action for excellence in STEM subjects, this Friday. The meeting was attended by the Chairman Higher Education Commission Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed and other key government officials of education departments from all over the country.
Ahsan Iqbal stated that all developing and developed countries are focusing on scientific education. He went on to say that quality STEM education at schools, colleges, and universities will help develop better engineers and scientists who would then be able to contribute in improving the Pakistan’s economy.
During the meeting, experts reviewed options like revising the state of science curriculum, starting science teachers’ training, developing computer and science labs in high schools, conducting science fairs and competitions for students and constant monitoring and evaluation of systems in force. A team was formed to come up with an action plan to develop world-class competency in STEM subjects.
The Minister also highlighted the government’s initiatives for bringing a change in the education sector. The government has initiated their smart school system under which 24 schools in Islamabad are being transformed into smart schools. Other government efforts include the launch of National Curriculum Reforms, Examination System Reforms and Transformational Teacher Training initiatives for bringing radical changes in the education sector.
The Minister further said that we need to inspire creativity among children. and for that purpose we need to focus on the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Mathematics) as well. He considered that Arts is important to teach children innovation and creativity. He went on to say that there is a need for developing ‘questioning minds’ which can only be done if the education system promotes a culture of inquiry among children.