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aws试用账号(www.2km.me)_Revamping STEM education post-Covid

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SCHOOLS throughout the nation have started to reopen and allow students to experience in-person classes. The students gradually started to return to school in compliance with the guidelines by the Education Ministry (MOE). In line with this, a rotation system has been implemented in order to minimise the number of students and consequently reduce the risk of an outbreak. 

Recently, MOE announced that there will be no rotation system in schools that have exceeded a 90% jab rate. This applies to students who are currently sitting public and international examinations. In light of this situation, it projects a possibility for students to return to the physical classroom in the near future. 

This poses several relevant questions on everyone’s mind, will the learning system be reverted? Will there be modifications in the learning environment? Will technology have a more expansive use for teaching and learning? 

Since before the pandemic, Malaysia had highlighted the goals and importance of developing students in the area of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Without it, Malaysia would face a setback in producing a sufficient talent pool to satisfy market demand. 

According to the Science Outlook Report for 2017, the targeted enrolment for STEM courses in tertiary education is 60%, but the reported number was only 40% in 2016. On top of that, according to the MOE’s 2020 Annual Report, the percentage of upper secondary school students taking up STEM subjects was 47.18%. It is still considerably far from the national target of 60%.

Based on research “The Issues and Challenges in Empowering STEM on Science Teachers in Malaysian Secondary Schools”, it stated there are many reasons that influence this percentage. The findings illustrate that science teachers’ exposure and training on STEM, a lack of facilities, inadequate budget, heavy workload, time constraints and also lack of support from school leaders constitutes factors affecting STEM enrolment. These have greatly influenced the teachers’ performance, hence negatively affecting the students’ motivation. 

Students who at first seem interested in pursuing engineering as a career could forgo their dream when they could not understand physics due to the teacher’s inadequate knowledge in STEM education and insufficient opportunities to be creative and innovative in teaching. On the other hand, students who have a passion for biology could also be denied the opportunity to immerse in the area due to lack of facilities. This situation occurs and affects the students’ decision to pursue STEM subjects.

In relation to schools reopening post-pandemic, what are the elements that could be adapted and learned through online learning to solve STEM problems? 

For a start, teachers need to utilise online teaching resources for simulations in their teaching and learning. Since the lockdown, many online resources providers have grown exponentially and upgraded to suit learning needs. PhET’s is one of the platforms that provide simulations for subjects such as physics, chemistry, mathematics and biology. 

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