It is no secret that the education sector in Pakistan is in dire need of reforms. Outdated teaching methods, unmonitored curriculum, and overall poor quality education are just some of the problems plaguing schooling in Pakistan. This is aside from the fact that a huge percentage of children still do not have access to school.
Hence, there is a great need to pay attention to the education sector in Pakistan and improve it in every way possible, for the sake of the current youth and future generations. Pakistan should take a cue from other countries around the globe who have invested and innovated in the education sector, and have thus introduced new and improved educational curriculums and teaching methods.
One such innovative educational curriculum that has taken the world by storm is STEM education. It is an interdisciplinary approach to learning that combines academic concepts with real-life learning. It helps students develop critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity in students.
STEM is an abbreviation for four major areas of study; science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Rather than teaching these as four separate and distinct subjects, STEM education focuses on blending and integrating it into a holistic learning curriculum where students are able to make connections from the classroom to the world around them.
S – Science
T – Technology
E – Engineering
M – Mathematics
In essence, STEM education is about developing a learning environment that prepares students for the real-world, by providing an integrated educational curriculum that helps students develop critical thinking skills.
It also fosters creativity and innovation, in order to harvest the bright minds of the youth, so that they will be well-equipped to contribute meaningfully to the 21st century, technology and information-driven economy.
Through STEM education, students are taught subjects such as science, mathematics, and technology with an emphasis. These subjects allow students to develop skills for critical thinking, processing and understanding complex information, and problem-solving. These skills are necessary for real-world success. Thus, it is an educational curriculum that is believed to build a solid foundation in the youth to become problem-solvers, critical thinkers, and innovators.
The education delivered to students through STEM is quite different from the current reality of the education sector in Pakistan. In fact, the Pakistani education sector has been frequently criticized for killing creativity in students, focusing on memorization rather than conceptual learning, and neglecting to instill problem-solving and critical thinking skills in students.
Hence, there is a great need to introduce STEM-based learning to the education sector in Pakistan. This can be done primarily through major educational reforms that introduce a new curriculum and examination system that focuses more on conceptual learning and critical thinking, rather than rote learning.
Moreover, it is important to introduce technology in the education sector. While some schools have slowly begun to introduce e-learning methods, there is a need to amplify the reach of e-learning resources to more schools in Pakistan, and to learn how to effectively integrate technology in the educational curriculum for more effective learning.
Finally, schools in Pakistan must focus on reforming its quality of education by focusing on innovation and creativity, through the integration of critical thinking and scientific knowledge. This will require heavy training for teachers, and to change the mindset of the schooling system as a whole that has rote learning and standardized examination processes ingrained in its roots.
Through these efforts, the Pakistani youth will be able to benefit from the improvement of the educational sector and the introduction of STEM-based learning. This will provide the country with the opportunity to improve its economy through innovation, knowledge, and critical thinking of the highly-skilled and capable youth.