-The Minister of Education Susil Premajayantha
The Minister of Education Dr. Susil Premajayantha says that he expects to give the school children the way of practically using the conceptual knowledge that they acquired in the classroom under the general education through STEM education method from 31st of March within the process of educational transformation. STEM method of education is currently implemented in about 96 countries throughout the world including America and the educationists have drawn their attention towards it as a very successful method of education. This new method of education was first introduced by the National Science Foundation in the United States of America in 1999 using the term STEM based on the four subjects, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. And this new system of education has been further developed today including arts subjects naming it as STEAM education based on the subjects, Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics and it has spread all over the world, the minister said.
Even in Finland, where the number one education system of the world is found, prevails this system of education and since our country has not followed that system so far, the children of this country do not have the opportunity to face the international test named PISA – (Program for International Students Assessments) conducted annually for the children in age 15 to measure the success of education system. After implementing the STEAM education system in the United States of America for 20 years, 62% of national income of that country is generated by the new inventors and the creative citizens who are the outcome of that system of education, the minister stated at this occasion.
The minister stated these ideas while addressing a media gathering at the Ministry of Education and he further stated that the children must be given the opportunities to mix with the environment and to have practical observations at the places like museums and aquariums going beyond the classrooms. A national science center must be created and the children must be given the opportunity to come and use it and also the newly emerging subjects like Nano Technology, Bio Technology and Jene Technology must be opened for the children. The use of modules is a best support for it within the STEAM education system, the minister said.
Implementation of this educational transformation is not so difficult as we have a high level human resource of competent teachers and from the children’s own theme “See – Work – Go forward to the future through STEAM School” we would be able to see how they become successful, said the minister. In the future, the Ministry of Education, National Science Foundation, Science and Technology Centers, University system and training centers will work together and for the first time in our country the gap between higher education and general education will be minimized through this STEAM education method. Through this, it is expected to create a generation of children empowered with analytical thinking with which they can overcome the challenges in 21st century. If this is not done, we could not be able to escape from the exam centered outdated present education system in which they go to the classroom and the tuition class, listen to the lectures, keep them in mind and finally sit for the exam, the minister said.
The minister further said that the physical resources like text books will be provided to children on time and it is expected to implement this STEAM education process successfully within the school system and its inaugural program will be held on 31st of may at New Theatre Hall in Colombo.