Unimas eager to get more students on the STEM bandwagon

Abang Johari (left) visits exhibitors and participants of the 2018 I-STEEx.

KUCHING, Sept 12: Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) is committed to help promote interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) among students in the state.

Its vice-chancellor, Prof Datuk Dr Mohamad Kadim Suaidi, said the university had proposed that the STEM Education Lab programme, currently benefitting six schools, be extended to another 158 schools within the next five years.

Unimas has been playing a major role alongside stakeholders such as the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Research, Tegas, Yayasan Sarawak, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), National STEM Movement and other industry partners in empowering Sarawak students with STEM education.

“We realise that successful inculcation of these critical attributes in our school children can be achieved through forging closer ties between universities, industries and schools through STEM initiatives.

“The Education Ministry has set a target of 60:40 ratio of Science to Arts stream students in Malaysian schools and is currently working with great effort in achieving this goal.

“More serious effort must be implemented in Sarawak as only 26 per cent of our school students are enrolled into the STEM stream,” Mohamad Kadim said at the opening of 2018 International Unimas STEM Conference here today.

Themed ‘Realising the 4th Industrial Revolution in Engineering and Built Environment’, the conference focussed on the latest trends, advancements and issues in the world of STEM.

The annual conference also featured the International Science and Engineering Expo (I-STEEx) to showcase the latest innovation and research projects by secondary school students, institutions of higher learning and industries.

“Our efforts to increase the percentage of STEM students are in place and are well implemented in order to prepare the people for our transformation into a developed state by 2030,” he continued.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg was present at the event, where he also witnessed the exchange of memorandum of agreements (MoA) and memorandum of understandings (MoU) between Unimas and various industry partners.

Among the MoA collaborators included Construction Research Institute of Malaysia, CMS Cement Industries, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, University of Limoges, France, and Universiti Sains Malaysia.

The MoU exchange included the Department of Mineral and Geoscience Malaysia, Press Metal Bintulu, Samalaju Downstream, HT Energy, Malaysian Research and Innovation Society, Kano University of Science and Technology, Wudil, Nigeria, and University of Kracheh, Cambodia. — DayakDaily