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Minister of Education: Students are showing greater STEM interest

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Students from 30 Phnom Penh institutions showed off their abilities at this year’s fair, which is being held over three days from Thursday to Saturday at Olympic Stadium. Supplied

Minister of Education: Students are showing greater STEM interest

Minister of Education, Youth and Sport Hang Chuon Naron said on Thursday that in the last five years, students have shown increased interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) based curriculums.

The ministry adopted the STEM programme to help meet the urgent need for engineers and technicians and promote industrial development, he said.

Speaking at the fifth Science and Engineering Fair, held at Olympic Stadium in the capital, Chuon Naron said since 2015, the ministry, in cooperation with the British Embassy in Cambodia, has actively promoted the new education scheme. He said the embassy remains the Kingdom’s most important partner in promoting STEM.

Chuon Naron said the fair serves as a chance to encourage students to participate and for teachers to improve their teaching techniques.

“In the last five years, not only through the Science and Engineering Fair, but through study and teaching about science, technology, engineering and maths, STEM has become an attractive topic for students to turn their interest to.

“We see that not only youths and students are interested in STEM subjects, but everyone is cooperating to address the shortage of human resources,” he said.

Chuon Naron said that since the ministry implemented examination reforms, it had begun to address the shortage of engineers and technical experts.

He said the ministry was following one policy – “promote teacher training of science and technology and promote the teaching of science and technology in and out of school, such as in universities.”

“We started with something small,” he said, referring to the Science and Engineering Fair, “but have extended it over the past five years to become a huge event. What is important is the promotion of teachers’ and students’ ability."

“We can see that the quality of teachers and students has increased, and students and teachers are interested in this topic [STEM] as well.”

Chuon Naron said the ministry will continue teacher training at educational institutions over the next five years, so teachers can keep improving the quality of their work.

He said the ministry has new strategies for teaching STEM subjects so that students will enjoy the courses even more and reap maximum benefit from the new programme.

The Science and Technology Fair was created five years ago for youths to visit and gain experience in research and creativity.

Students from 30 Phnom Penh institutions showed off their abilities at this year’s fair, which is being held over three days from Thursday to Saturday at Olympic Stadium.