KOTA SAMARAHAN: Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) has received praise for its effort in helping the state government groom more Sarawakians who are knowledgeable in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
In commending the university, Local Government Minister Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian said there was a major need for more STEM-savvy individuals because these areas would be the key triggers to boost the development of the state.
Speaking at the launch of ‘Unimas Scienceploration Camp 2017’ held at university’s multi-purpose hall in the East Campus yesterday, the minister thanked Unimas for doing its best in spearheading the initiatives to fulfil STEM objectives under the Malaysian Education Blueprint 2013-2025.
“Unimas has provided quality education to support the needs of society and also the industry, as well as the nation’s aspiration. We want a sufficient number of Sarawakians who are qualified STEM graduates to be readily absorbed into the scientific and technological workforce,” he said.
According to Dr Sim, STEM is vital for the state’s future as it is the major driver of economy – noting that Sarawak is facing an undersupply of STEM students.
It would be a problem not only for Sarawak, he added, but also the country as a whole as it could hamper efforts meant to propel Malaysia into becoming a developed nation.
Thus, Dr Sim hoped that students from Unimas and also those taking part in Scienceploration Camp 2017 would take on the challenge of adding up to the number STEM students from Sarawak in the future.
The ongoing Scienceploration Camp 2017 gathers 122 science-stream students from 16 schools.
Its main objective is to cultivate in the participants the interest to learn science through interesting learning techniques such as planned experiments.
Unimas vice-chancellor Prof Dato Dr Mohamad Kadim Suaidi, who also spoke during the ceremony, said the camp entered its second edition this year following the success of the first one last year.
“At the camp, the participants will be guided by experienced mentors and tutors, who will also act as the mentors. On our role in promoting STEM subjects, Unimas would be proud if it’s able to contribute in building a scientific community that is productive and sensitive towards current developments,” he said.
Forty lecturers and 14 liaison officers – undergraduates and post-graduates alike – are involved in the camp.