The obstacle for STEM Education to prevail in India
Education is the crucial element for economic as well as the overall growth of the country. STEM Education plays a major in shaping India's future. STEM Education is one such approach to produce a high number of scientists and engineers. With the changing period, there is a technological and scientific advancement in society. Technology and science exist in the environment; in addition to this, technology is one such thing which is used by everyone. In the COVID-19 pandemic situation, the use of technology shifted towards mandatory need.
Though before the COVID-19 situation, the technology was used immensely, but the pandemic situation and lockdown has advanced the use of science and technology. The discretionary option of using technology for everything has been changed into a mandatory clause. The pandemic has changed the method of working, teaching, learning and other necessities, and subsequently, the technology is helping out people.
Technology is necessary, and the study of technology and science is much more critical. STEM Education focuses on the technological and scientific development of the society. It encourages students to not only read about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM subjects) but also allows them to apply their skills, perform the experiments and innovate something new.
India is motivating its educational institutes to build a STEM learning system for the welfare of children and the nation. Similarly, STEM jobs have also increased heavily in India. India is still a developing country. When India got freedom in August 1947, after that, the main focus of founders was India's development in the field of science and technology. The founding fathers and other eminent personalities influenced the formation of some educational institutes for this purpose.
Those educational institutes include institutes like IITs, IISc etc. Subsequently, these institutes emerged as India's most growing and catering institute for the development of the technical and scientific workforce. The purpose of these institutes was to integrate India in the field of science, technology, engineering and mathematics and promote innovative learning.
However, since that time, India is continuously upgrading its rank in population, which increases the number of students in competitive exams for these institutions. Since that time, the youth of the country are filled with the zeal of cracking competitive exam by joining coaching classes, extra school classes etc. This somehow disappointed the objective for which the institutions were formed, as now no innovative thinking brought in the arena.
It is now merely concerned with the exam-based curriculum. Consequently, India is good in technical and scientific fields but lacks in innovations.
In this regard, STEM Education can work as a system for providing learning which will deal with the practical based and experience-based learning of the real world.
What are the challenges for STEM Education in India?
Many types of research have shown that STEM subjects have a significant impact on student's lives from an early or young age. STEM Education is a new term in the Education system of India but has been significantly growing from the year 2016. Parallel to this, STEM jobs are also increasing at a staggering rate.
The National Science Foundation, in this purpose, has predicted that the more than 60% of jobs in future will require the skills relating to mathematics and science. The bridge between engineering, technology and entrepreneurship has rarely formed by students in India as they are limited to the only exam-based curriculum which does not enhance their critical thinking skills, experimentation skills and technical skills. There is a need for some innovative minds which can be approached through STEM learning.
Here are a few challenges for STEM Education in India:
- Socio-economic Challenge: As India is a developing country where a majority of the population lives. This population is every day facing social and economic problems. The critical challenge for STEM learning is keeping social development as well as personal development parallel to each other. Under this situation, it would be difficult for STEM Education to help them personally. But it is expected that the problem can be resolved as well. But for the future of the nation, the Indian Government has given its hand for inspiring the education relating to STEM subjects.
- Quality Infrastructure: STEM Education deals with one more challenge which is related to infrastructure, as a STEM subject needs a significant amount of funds so that the student can learn STEM subjects. This is the reason why the collaboration between the field of corporate and field of education. The challenge or problem here is of funding, as the educational institutes will require a tremendous amount of money for constructing the STEM-based learning apparatus or equipment. It also requires more money for research purposes.
- The People: Indeed, after all these challenges, the current situation of India is related to the people of India. India is a democratic country where the role of people is vital, and preference is always given to people, as democracy is the type of Government which is of the people, for the people and by the people. The belief or faith of the people matters a lot. Many of the educational entities believe that the introduction of STEM Education will not help in completing the curriculum or syllabus in a specified time. Subsequently, students will be disengaged with the studies. The only way by which this problem can be resolved is that there is a need to aware them about the benefits of STEM subjects and introduce them to the methodology for STEM learning.
- Scientific and Technological Challenge: STEM Education will be successful if the educational institute achieves some achievements in the scientific or technological field. For providing better knowledge to the students, the trainer himself must be very well trained. Teachers should also be proficient in the STEM subjects and should encourage children for innovating ideas.
India has developed great significance in STEM Education since last few years. But there are still some hurdles which need to be solved. The benefits of STEM Education are uncountable, and it leads towards the better future in STEM subjects as well as in one's own startups.
The Indian economy needs skilled minds with innovative ideas. India has a vast number of graduates in technical and scientific fields, but there is a need for some logical or innovative minds. So, conclusively the opportunity for creativity should be given to the creative people for further exploration. The best way for this purpose is that the foundation for STEM Education should be provided to them for STEM learning.