Jamaica News: The Government will be spending $5,234,800 (US$40,000) to provide additional tablets to equip teachers involved in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programme.
Science and Technology Minister, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley, made the announcement while addressing the opening ceremony of the Excellence in STEM Experimental Education (EXSEED) workshop at the Excelsior Community College in Kingston on Tuesday (July 17).
He said the funds have been approved by the board of the Universal Service Fund (USF).
The STEM programme is a high priority for the Government and is in keeping with measures to promote problem-based and project-based approaches to learning.
The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information has established a STEM steering committee to provide oversight of the work of the STEM team as well as the STEM technical committee that is driving the research and training component of the programme.
The integration of the STEM methodology into the curriculum for grades one to nine is now being implemented under the National Standards Curriculum (NSC).
“The truth is there needs to be a shift in the way our young people perceive the STEM fields. We must begin to see it as a viable career path or a way of providing solutions to our many socio-economic problems,” Dr. Wheatley said.
The five-day EXSEED workshop, under the theme ‘Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics: A New Pedagogical Approach’, aims to equip teachers with the latest teaching-related tools and skills to foster a love for STEM subjects among their students.
It is being hosted by the Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA) in collaboration with the Loma Linda University based in California in the United States.
JTA President-elect, Dr. Garth Anderson, said the workshop is relevant, especially at a time when teachers are required to be innovative.
“Your interactions over the few days will influence the way you think about teaching and, ultimately, how you teach, as we seek to be on the cutting edge of technology in education for the future,” he pointed out.
Newly appointed Chairman of the Jamaica Tertiary Education Commission (J-TEC), Dr. Dameon Black, welcomed the staging of EXSEED.
He argued that with the introduction of STEM and its other variants, learners will benefit from more hands-on experience, which will enhance their overall knowledge and “cater to different kinds of learners in the classroom”.
During the workshop, over 100 tablets were provided to the participants.
Source: JIS News