Prioritise STEM - Janine Marshall

03rd Jul 2024

I have witnessed firsthand the transformative power of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. As we approach the next election, I am eager to see how our new government prioritises STEM in schools. 

STEM education is not just about preparing students for specific careers in science or engineering, it is about equipping them with critical thinking, problem-solving, and analytical skills that are applicable across all fields. In an increasingly complex and technology-driven world, these skills are more important than ever. It encourages innovation and creativity and gives students an environment in which to ask questions, explore new ideas, and develop solutions to real-world problems. This kind of education is essential for driving economic growth, improving healthcare, addressing environmental challenges, and maintaining our global competitiveness.

This is why we are so passionate about it at RTC, our young people are the workforce of the future and we want to ensure that skills supply and demand are in the strongest position possible to ensure that our businesses and young people thrive together. 

Despite knowing how important STEM education is, in many schools’ provision is lacking. There are significant disparities in access to quality STEM education, particularly in underfunded schools and among underrepresented groups. Many students are not receiving the encouragement or resources they need to pursue STEM subjects, leading to a shortage of skilled workers in these critical fields.

We’ve seen across our political manifestos that several commitments align with the need to prioritise STEM education. Commitments I am particularly encouraged by:

  • Investment in Education: commitments to significantly increased funding for schools, ensuring they have the resources needed to provide high-quality STEM education.
  • Teacher Training: plans to invest in teacher training and professional development, particularly in STEM subjects. Well-trained teachers are crucial for inspiring and educating the next generation of scientists, engineers, and innovators.
  • Curriculum Enhancement: plans to modernise the curriculum, including up-to-date STEM content and practical, hands-on learning experiences.
  • Equality and Inclusion: addressing disparities in education, ensuring that all students, regardless of their background, have access to quality STEM education.

We are ready to support our new government. Organisations like RTC North play a crucial role in supporting these initiatives. We can provide valuable industry insights, resources, and partnerships to enhance STEM education. 

We believe our new government has a critical opportunity to make a lasting impact on the future of our country by prioritising STEM education. By investing in schools, supporting teachers, enhancing the curriculum, and promoting equity, we can ensure that all students have the opportunity to succeed in STEM fields.

As someone passionate and committed to STEM, I am ready to support these initiatives and work towards a future where every student has the chance to excel in STEM. Prioritising STEM in schools is not just an educational imperative; it is a societal and economic necessity. The next government must take bold steps to ensure that our education system is preparing students for the challenges and opportunities of the future. By doing so, we can drive innovation, improve our economy, and create a brighter future for all.

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