STEM curriculum to roll out in schools next year

STEM curriculum to roll out in schools next year

Friday, November 20, 2015

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THE incorporation of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) methodologies in the curriculum of schools will be rolled out in the 2016 academic year.

The subjects will be taught to students at the grades one to nine levels in primary and secondary institutions. Some 50 schools are expected to adopt this new curriculum.

"We are changing the curriculum with a greater emphasis on STEM methodologies with more activity-based, problem-solving and real world issues," said STEM Coordinator in the Ministry of Education, Senator Wentworth Skeffrey.

He was speaking to JIS News at the 2015 National STEM Symposium held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston on November 18.

Nine schools have already been specifically selected and transformed into STEM academies.

These are Dunoon Park Technical, St Andrew Technical, and Kingston Technical in the Corporate Area; Herbert Morrison Technical, St James; Manchester High School; Dinthill Technical, St Catherine; Vere Technical, Clarendon; St Mary Technical; and the Sydney Pagon STEM Academy in St Elizabeth.

Partnerships have been forged with industry players in areas such as agriculture, telecommunications, logistics and transportation, in order to meet their needs for training and employment.

"STEM is very critical as we seek to revolutionise the teaching and learning processes. It embraces scientific methods coupled with a design process and in this context, it will create learners who are more innovative. They will add value to society," the senator said.

Education Minister Ronald Thwaites, in his address to the students, teachers and industry players at the symposium, emphasised the important need to integrate STEM into the education system.

He said that knowledge in these subject areas is critical for the economic development of the nation.

Senior lecturer at the University of Technology, Dr Shermaine Bennett, said STEM teaching is useful in creating integrated learning.

According to her, it provides opportunities for developing interpersonal skills, the ability to communicate and it also reduces unemployment.

The symposium included a panel discussion involving industry players requiring STEM skills, and principals of STEM academies.

-- JIS

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