KUALA LUMPUR: Enrolment among upper secondary students for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects has increased over the past two years.
Education Minister Fadhlina Sidek said as of August this year, the percentage of STEM students was 45.73%, up from 40.95% in 2021.
She attributed the increase to proactive measures under the Malaysian Education Blueprint 2013-2025, such as increasing student interest through new teaching and learning approaches; improving teachers' skills; and promoting STEM awareness among students, parents and the public.
“Efforts are also being made to increase the competency of teachers and to strengthen teaching and learning both inside and outside the classroom, to increase interest (in taking up STEM) at a higher level of education,” she said.
Fadhlina said this during the Minister's Question Time in the Dewan Rakyat on Thursday (Oct 19).
She said the RM354mil allocation for STEM-related measures under Budget 2024 shows that the government is serious about strengthening this approach to education.
Fadhlina said her ministry would synergise with the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry, Higher Education Ministry and Human Resources Ministry to strengthen the STEM education ecosystem.
The STEM Committee will coordinate efforts through strategic cooperation across ministries, state and district Education Departments, and schools, she added.
“This committee (will) discuss critical issues related to STEM education which require immediate decisions and solutions," she added.
Kamal Ashaari (PN-Kuala Krau) had asked about the measures by the ministry to curb the decline in STEM enrolment between 2017 and last year, as well as the role of the STEM committee.
It was previously reported that there is waning interest in STEM among school-leavers, which experts described as a worrying trend as Malaysia heads for developed nation status by 2030.
[The Star, 19 October 2023]