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Monday, May 23, 2016

Science, Mathematics education helps creative, critical thinking | Khaleej Times

Iyad Malaeb (Business Development Manager, INTEL Corporation) reports, "To produce a human capital of scientists and innovators, UAE is focusing on Stem education in schools and on to higher education."

A . Importance of Stem in schools
"In the 21st century, scientific and technological innovations have become increasingly important as we face the benefits and challenges of both globalisation and a knowledge-based economy. To succeed in this new information-based and highly technological society, students need to develop their capabilities in Stem to levels much beyond what was considered acceptable in the past."

- National Science Foundation

According to US State Department of Commerce, Stem occupations are growing at 17 per cent, while others are growing at 9.8 per cent. As the economy becomes more knowledge based, which further relies on 21st century skills and competencies, Stem and especially coding and making are becoming even more instrumental in determining the success of a student in their professional career. Not only does it help students develop technical skills, but it also makes them more competitive and prone to developing an inquiring mind. It is in these young minds that we invest our future and developing the "four Cs" of the 21st century skills: creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and communication are important for survival in the 21st century and they form an integral aspect of Stem education.

As challenges get more complex in this digital age of dynamic global environment which requires sustainable development, students require these skills fostered by Stem, in addition to the foundational literacies. This is because only those jobs that require a non-routine, cognitive and creative skill set will survive the onslaught of automation that is becoming evident across all industries across the globe.

B. Stem in UAE
"The national strategy of innovation focuses on knowledge integration in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and other fields, all of which contribute towards strengthening the knowledge economy." - Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid

To produce a human capital of scientists and innovators, the country is focusing on Stem education in schools and on to higher education. To help guide the students in that direction, programs and strategies such as Smart Learning Program, Journey of Discovery: Innovation campaign, Young Thinkers Program, Stem Scholars Programme have been devised by various governmental and non-governmental organisations. The main goal is to reform education in the UAE to become one of the best education systems in the world. This will be measured by the country's performance in literacy, numeracy & scientific skills through TIMSS & PISA, as set out in the National Agenda Targets.

Source: Khaleej Times