#Kingston, April 7, 2022 – The Department of Education and Youth is implementing several initiatives at different levels of the sector to increase the learning of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM).
This was stated by the Minister of Portfolio, Hon. Fayval Williams, during the National STEAM Career Forum at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, April 1.
She said the ministry introduced the subject specialist teacher model at primary level to strengthen the teaching and learning of English and math.
“Efforts to promote STEAM learning will continue to be undermined if high school students still struggle to read and understand,” she noted.
Furthermore, the minister said that as part of the new National Standards Curriculum (NSC) for grades 1 to 9, which aims to improve the general academic performance, attitude and behavior of students, the focus is on projects and problems. solve learning, with science, technology, engineering and math/science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEM/STEAM) integrated across all levels.
“We also recognize that if we are to provide our young people with a world-class STEAM education, our teachers must have access to high-quality training and professional development programs and resources,” the minister said.
She said assessments administered by the Department for Education and Youth reveal that many primary school students are performing below acceptable standards in maths and science.
“With the loss of learning resulting from school closures amid the COVID-19 pandemic, we have a lot of catching up to do,” the minister explained.
Ms. Williams said the ministry is also considering additional activities, aimed at developing and nurturing STEM talents and interest through immersion in STEM experiences at the primary level to reinforce the efforts already underway.
“If we want to increase STEM enrollment at the tertiary level, we need to deliberately cultivate talent and interest in STEM at an early stage,” she added.
She pointed out that the recent launch of the Coding in Schools program aims to prepare the country’s students to take their place in the global community.
“It is welcomed with great enthusiasm and we want it to continue,” the minister said.
Ms. Williams noted that the ministry is already implementing, as part of its strategic priorities, the broad embrace of STEAM education, not just as separate subjects to be taught, but to be mainstreamed at all levels.
The National Mathematics Coordinator at the ministry, Dr. Tamika Benjamin, said the ministry remains committed to ensuring that every Jamaican student has a solid foundation in math and science.
She said this would allow them to seize the range of opportunities available to them locally and internationally.
The event was part of the ministry’s activities for National Math Week 2022. The week, which ran from March 27 to April 1, was themed “Born to Do Math.”
CONTACT: CHRIS PATTERSON