KOTA KINABALU: Sabah is not taking the drop in interest among students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) lightly, says Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor.
The Chief Minister said the state government has set a target of achieving 60% of its students pursuing the science stream and the remaining 40% in literature as the participation rate of STEM students this year has only reached 28% so far.
"The state government takes this scenario seriously as we need to provide highly skilled human capital in technical, scientific and technological fields to meet the needs of the industry in the future,” he said.
“Therefore, various strategies are being implemented to ensure this target is achieved,” added Hajiji at the launching of an exhibition called "Experiencing Science: Enlightening Innovation" at the Sabah State Library here on Wednesday (Sept 27).The Chief Minister’s speech was delivered by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Shahelmey Yahya.
At the state level, Hajiji said the state Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry (KSTI) has formulated the 2022-2025 Strategic Plan as a guide in the implementation of various programmes and initiatives to empower the science, technology, innovation and economy (STIE) ecosystem in Sabah.
According to him, among the programmes being implemented were the STEM Fiesta Programme involving 24 District Education Offices, the Sabah Science Carnival, the Kembara Sains Borneo and the Sabah Science Awards.
He added that so far, 1,296 schools have benefited from these initiatives
"I hope that KSTI, the Sabah Education Department and all related agencies will help realise the target of at least 40% of students taking up science subjects by 2025 in this state", he said.
Hajiji said the state had already signed collaborations with several ministries at the Federal level to stir interest among students in STEM subjects.
In addition to that, he said, Sabah also has strategic partnerships with public educational institutions such as Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) and Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), besides collaborations with private varsities.