Meanwhile in developed countries, talks and debates have been going back and forth to change the traditional classroom to one that is more active and vibrant to develop skills needed in STEM fields. An acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, these countries understood the need to strengthen STEM education in order to meet the demands of the continual advancement of technology.
In an effort to facilitate the change in Malaysian schools, K-12 education technology provider Eduspec Holdings Berhad partnered with Robomatter and iCarnegie Global Learning, subsidiaries of the prestigious Carnegie Mellon University, to launch a cutting-edge STEM teaching methodology to national schools to complement the national curriculum today.
Dubbed as STEM CS, the program was developed by iCarnegie Global Learning and Robomatter based on the resources provided by Carnegie Mellon which is regularly recognized and ranked as the No. 1 Computer Science School in the United States of America. The program will cover Computer Science and Coding by providing a whole classroom package with plenty of activities for students and also include resources for teachers.
The program is specially designed to teach students computer programming to solve real world problems by getting them to learn by doing. This immerses them in the problem-solving process as well as help develop 21st century skills such as teamwork and creativity all in a fun and stimulating environment.
“It’s now the 21st century which means an overhaul has been long overdue for our education landscape. By bringing in STEM CS, we hope to address the gap and bring our education system and our schools up to par with the rest of the developed world,” said E H Lim, CEO of Eduspec Holdings Berhad.
“Ultimately STEM is a way of thinking and doing, so STEM CS is meant to change the way how students learn in classes. By learning things hands on, students are also able to develop their critical thinking skills and retain information better. Plus, it makes learning fun which is how it should be in our schools,” Lim added.
Also in collaboration with CM Asia Learning, Eduspec will also simultaneously introduce STEM CS to other ASEAN countries namely Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, Myanmar, and a couple of North Asia countries. Schools in South Korea and Taiwan have already signed up for this program.
E H Lim also mentioned bringing in STEM CS to Malaysia is in line with the government’s initiative to encourage more students to pursue STEM-related career.
The National Education Blueprint has highlighted the need to promote and strengthen STEM education in schools in order to increase the number of students who will pursue STEM related fields to 60 percent and in turn help boost the country’s economy.
Speaking as one of the speakers for the talk show during the launch, Jason McKenna, Director of Global Education Strategy for Robomatter emphasised the need for youths to start the program as young as possible.
“Growing up in a digital world, these subjects would become important in the future even if students don’t end up in science and tech fields. Even now, job recruiters are more likely to hire candidates with coding experience for art-related jobs such as writing and designing.
“This is because there is a need for digital skills in the workforce. How much more will it be needed in the future when the current work field is already demanding for critical and analytical thinking that is developed from studying STEM subjects that is not limited to just coding and computer science,” said McKenna.
McKenna further urged all parents and educators present to consider pushing for STEM CS to be implemented at all schools as he and the other speakers discussed the advantages students can gain from learning coding and computer science.
Educators and parents who are interested and need more information on the STEM CS program can refer to CM Asia Learning’s website at cmasialearning.com.