Ministry of Science and Technology is starting STEM schools across the country this year. Fawad Chaudhary, Federal Minister of Science and Technology, reveals the project while speaking to an international webinar “Future of (online) education in Pakistan, organized by Coded Minds Pakistan- a global iSTEAM and leadership company.
While sharing the details, the federal minister said that three billion rupees project aims to bring STEM schools for the class six, seven, and eight. “This year, we abstracted 464 schools at the federal level from all the provinces that we are turning into a STEM school.”
“We want to take up about 5,000 government schools. We want to upgrade them as a STEM school.” According to Chaudhary, his ministry was already working on establishing digital education, much before COVID-19. Digital Education is the future of Pakistan,” he said.
Dr. Ahsan Feroz, of Pakistan Science Foundation, who is working on the STEM School project, said that STEM Schools would the education canvas of the country. “ The project is right now in the approval stage, and as soon as the budge approves, we will immediately working on it.”
According to Dr. Feroz, the research and development is one of the major components along with Teachers Training and upgrading the technology infrastructure in the school.
Leading national and international educationists participated in the webinar and discuss the challenges and opportunities of the future of (online) education in the country; organized by Coded Minds Pakistan- a global iSTEAM and leadership company.
Education Minister Punjab Dr. Murad Rass said that lack of penetration of the internet is a major challenge to promote education through online. “Only 37-38%, people really (in Punjab) have internet in the urban areas. And if you go into the rural areas, it’s only 18%. Same way when the computer availability you go do in urban, it’s only 44% of Punjab.”
Dr. Rass said Punjab has only 18 percent of computer availability. While smart phone penetration is only 17 percent.”
He said, keep this reality in mind, the government of Punjab started a distance learning through national TV, which has 91 percent of penetration.
While concluding the discussion, Omar Farooqui, founder, and president of Coded Minds said that COVID19 had given an excellent opportunity to strengthen public-privatee partnerships. “We opted to start our operations in Pakistan not just because there is a huge opportunity to work on education but also because there is support from the government at every level to work together for a better future of Pakistan.”
Hunaid Lakhani, Founder and Chancellor of Iqra University, Wali Khan of Digital Pakistan, Dr. Mukhtar Agned, former chairman HEC, Dr. Naeem Ahmad, Head of Innovation from Azad Jammu Kashmir University, Dr. Mark Sorensen of USAid Pakistan, Lucy Hayer of Tony Blair Institute, Seema Mughal Vice-Chancellor of Greenwich University, Hassan Syed, Founder Ideagest and Abeer ul Haq of Haq Foundation and many others participated in the crucial discussion.