By Nasir Hussain
Principal BHS Kothang Shigar
The Chief Secretary Gilgit-Baltistan has recently put forward his vision and started introduction of STEM and entrepreneurship education in schools across Gilgit-Baltistan. It is imperative for all stakeholders to understand what STEM is, what is its scope and why is it introduced middle and secondary levels. In this brief writeup, I, as an educator, will share my views and understanding of STEM.
STEM is the short form of “Science, Technology, Engineering and Math”, stressing on innovation, problem-solving and critical thinking skills which are considered as core skills in order to have a successful life in the 21st century. Relying heavily on computers and other learning technologies, STEM education can help develop cognitive abilities of students and support them by connecting the classroom with the outside world, integrating all four areas, being a cross-disciplinary approach to education.
One of the goals of STEM education is to better prepare young people for careers in the technology-based industry. According to the National Science Foundation, students need a strong grounding in STEM to thrive in today’s information-driven age.
The chief Secretary GB has rightly put his hand on the real need because we have been dealing with outdated methodology and traditional ways of bringing up the new generation that is awefully unprepared for an advanced era.
As an educator, I perceive that students take interest in computer class which definitely enhances understanding in other subjects too and would be able to integrate their learning. At our school, we have been promoting student-engagement in the Lab. Some of the projects made by students can be accessed at this link https://www.facebook.com/groups/681016829196447/ and #bhskothang.
Introducing a new concept and taking innovative step is difficult particularly in the setting where issues related to dedication, allocation of extra time and efforts, poor infrastructure, internet connectivity and acceptance for change exist. However, when leadership in committed and devotion is at peak, the hurdles can be overcome.
To cope with the challenges, principals also need to be oriented with this new and emerging concepts as many of them are designated on the basis of length of services and high scales rather capability and qualification. Leadership is the key to success and this is the cry of time that let the seniors (length in services) to enjoy incentives but the leadership role be given in the hands of energetic, young, and competent professionals on the basis of test and interview to avoid any nepotism in order to run institutions smoothly productive ways. Though mostly principals have been recruited through the prestigious public service commission but still more are needed, even at elementary level. IT labs, STEM education, entrepreneurship and LMS can progress in the laps of such highly qualified professional rather traditional crew.
The writer is an educationist and deputed as principal in a public sector secondary school and can be accessed at email@example.com.