Visionary STEM project

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THE Ministry of Science and Technology really deserves credit for launching a visionary project for promotion of S&T in the country. A high level meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday, approved the launch of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) project in collaboration with universities at 400 higher secondary schools. In the first phase, special laboratories for modern science, technology, engineering and mathematics will be set up at 40 schools. Around 100,000 children in 400 schools will have access to education and training in modern sciences.
Given the relevance of science and technology to socio-economic development of the country, STEM is a step in the right direction as it would help groom students to become a citizen with critical thinking and aptitude. Establishment of modern labs in schools would afford opportunity to students from poor families and backward regions to acquaint themselves with technological tools that they cannot afford otherwise because of their family background. The project, if implemented on a wider scale, has the potential to eliminate educational apartheid and provide opportunity to poor but talented students to excel and prosper in future. Proper grooming of students and imparting of modern skills to them at the school level would also enable them to understand knowledge/subjects in a critical and innovative manner during higher studies. With this in view, we would recommend that instead of experimental launching of STEM, it should be implemented in maximum number of schools in all the four provinces, Capital Territory, GB and Azad Kashmir with the active cooperation of the provinces. Similarly, genuine progress and development comes through research and development and, therefore, as was done during tenure of Dr Atta-ur-Rehman as Minister for S&T, attention should be focused on universities and institutions of higher learning, which are unable to play their due role in national development because of funding constraints.

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