MIRI, August 4: As proficiency in the English language enhances employability, parents must encourage their children to speak this global lingua franca, said Dato Sri Michael Manyin Jawong, the Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research.
“English language has always been the official language of Sarawak. Proficiency in the language will enable students to cope with today’s technology skills,” he said when opening the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Playground 2018 at Pustaka Miri today.
Manyin said how well the state could become progressive and prosperous depended on how well its people could leverage on technological advances.
STEM Playground 2018, which attracted some 2,000 students, was organised by the state government and Tabung Ekonomi Gagasan Anak Bumiputera Sarawak (TEGAS) in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA), All Aboard Young Leader Centre (AAYLC) and IEEE Curtin Malaysia.
“STEM education encompasses almost every aspect of our lives and helps students to be curious, ask questions and make connections as to why the universe exists as it does,” said Manyin.
Thus, STEM education creates critical thinkers that are perceptive and discerning in meeting the global challenges of today and empowers the next generation of innovators.
“Innovation leads to new products and processes that sustain our economy,” he said.
“Many research and surveys by the World Economic Forum as well as international consultants, such as McKinsey Global Institute and Ernst and Young, indicate that around 80 per cent of jobs in the future world require STEM knowledge and skills in one form or another.”
Therefore, graduates the state produces must come mostly from STEM disciplines.
“However, the sad truth is that our institutions of higher learning are currently churning out more graduates from social science and arts disciplines, for which jobs are limited.
“For example in 2017, the proportion was only 19.7 per cent, and what is more alarming is that this proportion has decreased over the last few years. It appears that the interest of students in Science and Mathematics is waning” he lamented.
Manyin cautioned that if nothing was done to promote greater interest in Science and Mathematics, future graduates may have problems findings jobs. — DayakDaily