Rogers Says STEM Must Be Curriculum Priority

SDLP Education Spokesperson Seán Rogers, South Down  MLA, has urged the Assembly to prioritise STEM (Science, Engineering, Technology & Mathematics) education in future curriculums.

[caption id="attachment_32260" align="alignright" width="200"]Séan Rogers MLA. Séan Rogers MLA.[/caption]

Speaking in the Assembly chamber today Mr Rogers said: “The primary school experience is the essential foundation of our children’s learning and while we have ‘The World Around Us’, Science and Technology is buried in this curriculum area along with History & Geography.

“Many barriers must be addressed if our children are to receive adequate STEM education; a lack of STEM graduates choosing to teach as they are snapped up by more lucrative careers, a lack of time and resources afforded to our teachers to encourage scientific curiosity and adventure in our children, and a detrimental focus on measuring achievement by grades.

“We must ensure that are young people are prepared for the challenges of the 21st century by improving teaching in ICT and programming. Two of our closest neighbours, England and the Republic of Ireland already include this in their curriculum. If we neglect this vital area, our students will be at a distinct disadvantage in the digital economy.

“Digital opportunities are huge, both economically and socially as technology is a leveller. Children can rise to the top based on aptitude and ability irrespective of gender or background. There are more job opportunities in the technology sector than ever before.

“The world has changed beyond all recognition in the past 30 years and our education system must get up to speed if our children are to succeed in this competitive world,” added Mr Rogers.