KUCHING: Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) has been playing a major role alongside various stakeholders and industry partners in empowering Sarawakian students with Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education in the state.
According to its vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Mohamad Kadim Suaidi, only 26 per cent of school students in the state are currently enrolled in the STEM stream.
“The Ministry of Education has set a target of 60:40 ratio of science to arts stream in Malaysian schools and working with great effort in achieving this goal.
“More serious efforts must be installed in the state as only 26 per cent of our school students are enrolled in STEM stream,” he said at the opening ceremony of the 11th International Unimas STEM Engineering Conference (EnCon) 2018 which was officiated by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg here yesterday.
In realising the need to address this critical issue, he pointed out that the university has collaborated with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Research; Tabung Ekonomi Gagasan Anak Bumiputera Sarawak (Tegas), Yayasan Sarawak, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), National STEM Movement and others.
“A number of activities had been executed such as the establishment of STEM Education Lab in six schools in Sarawak which we hope shall be extended to another 158 schools.
“Our efforts to increase the percentage of STEM students are in place and are well implemented and this is in order to prepare the people to be a developed state by the year 2030.”
On EnCon, Mohamad Kadim said this year’s theme of ‘Realising the 4th Industrial Revolution in Engineering and Built Environment’ is timely as solutions to enhance the knowledge in the field of science, technology, engineering and built environment through presentation and sharing of innovative ideas towards the fourth Industrial Revolution.
“This challenging task definitely requires the best of minds to be creative and innovative and the two-day intellectual discourse during this event is expected to reveal several pertinent resolutions.”
He said the two-day conference will feature three keynote speakers and seven plenary speakers who will share their knowledge and experience in their respective field.
“To add, there will be 89 technical papers to be presented in EnCon which brings together research topics concerning the latest technologies. Parallel sessions of STEM workshops shall also be held for teachers from schools in Sarawak,” he added.
A total of five memorandums of agreement (MoAs) and seven memorandums of understanding (MoUs) were also exchanged between the university’s Faculty of Engineering and several industry players during the conference.
The five MoAs involve the Construction Research Institute of Malaysia, CMS Cement Industries Sdn Bhd, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, University of Limoges, France; and Universiti Sains Malaysia, while the MoUs involve the Department of Mineral and Geoscience Malaysia (JMG), Press Metal Bintulu Sdn Bhd, Samalaju Downstream Sdn Bhd, HT Energy (S) Sdn Bhd, Malaysian Research & Innovation Society, Kano University of Science and Technology, Wudil, Nigeria; and University of Kracheh, Cambodia.