STEM committee to be finalised this year, says Chang

KOTA SAMARAHAN: The establishment of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Committee to re-evaluate the existing initiatives and policies regarding learning of STEM in the country will be finalised this year, said Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Chang Lih Kang.

He said the special committee will determine the targeted involvement of STEM for secondary school students apart from formulating the agenda to empower the fields in Malaysia in the short, medium and long terms.

"Discussions with the secretaries-general of the ministries involved for the effort have been held and after that we will hold a meeting with the ministries involved before setting up the full committee.

"The issue of STEM involvement is a cross-ministerial issue so we need to handle and settle it through cross-ministerial collaboration. We have held several sessions of precouncil with several ministries among them, the Education Ministry, Higher Education Ministry, and Human Resources Ministry,” he said.

He told reporters after opening the Sarawak level 2023 National Science Week Carnival and the Malaysia Techlympics 2023 Sarawak zone here Thursday (Sept 21).

Earlier, the media reported that the initiative concerned needed to be implemented as statistics showed a waning interest among school leavers in STEM, which is a worrying trend as Malaysia heads towards becoming a developed nation by 2030.

In this regard, Chang said the participation of Sarawak in Malaysia Techlympics 2023 is aimed at unearthing talents as well as fostering interest among the younger generation towards STEM as well as Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) which saw an increase of almost three-folds compared to last year.

"This is a very good sign, so in future, the Sarawak government will be achieving 60 percent STEM students and we at the central government have to buck up,” he said.

Earlier in his speech, Chang said 63,589 participants involving primary and secondary school students took part in the programme compared to 20,319 participants in 2022.

The Sarawak level Malaysia Techlympics 2023 was held at Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) which is zone four after the Northen Zone, Sabah Zone and Central Zone before moving to the Southern and Eastern Zone.

The 2023 National Science Week Carnival in Sarawak is the seventh after Negri Sembilan, Kedah, Johor, Penang, Sabah and Selangor which began in stages until next month. - Bernama

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