ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Science Foundation (PSF) a subsidiary of the Ministry of Science and Technology will provide technical skills to the youth under its Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) initiative to prepare a workforce for the fifth industrial revolution. Moreover, it intends to foster students’ entrepreneurial spirit so that they can create jobs instead of just seeking them.
Dr. Tahir Waseem, STEM Deputy Director, said that a memorandum of understanding had been signed between PSF and China-Pakistan Youth Scientific Forum. “This MoU will enable STEM initiatives to receive assistance from Chinese experts in designing curricula, and conduct academic exchanges between scientists from both countries.”
According to him, STEM will be invaluable in promoting and sharing scientific knowledge across the country and improving the economy. “The project will promote highly demanded skills in the market like computer programming languages, software development and scientific projects based on Pakistan’s current industrial requirements,” he explained, saying that the project has been approved by the Pakistan Sustainable Development Programme (PSDP). Tahir Waseem said the STEM project is intended to cover 450 schools, adding, however, that due to limited funds, the project will only cover 50 schools in the first phase.
Tahir further explained that the programme would begin training students from class 9 onwards. “High-tech equipment will be installed in school labs, including 3D printers, vinyl cutters, design computers, and STEM kits. This project will help students learn new techniques essential to academic growth.” Explaining the selection criteria for schools, Waseem said that PSF has contacted the education departments of each province to request lists of schools with outstanding academic results. “A total of 1,000 schools were reported to PSF with high academic results. Out of these schools, PSF selected the top 50 schools in the first phase.”
He said that PSF has selected 10 schools from each province, which would be affiliated with the top universities in the region. Furthermore, advanced laboratories will be developed in selected universities and labs in schools adjacent to these varsities, he added. The STEM deputy director said a school’s affiliation with a university would enable students to benefit from inputs of university professors. “In this way, they will have the opportunity to acquire high-level skills and training. Moreover, universities will offer more resources and facilities conducive to students’ learning.”