14-SEP-2018: APJ Abdul Kalam STEM ER Centre organises interactive session with University graduates
Aligarh, September 14: As India is ranked among the top nations of the world, one of the biggest challenges is the spread of science education among sizeable young population. Throwing light on this issue, the APJ Abdul Kalam Science Technology Engineering Mathematics (STEM) ER Centre, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) organised an interactive session with University graduates.
Renowned Paediatrician, Dr Hameeda Tariq, who attended the programme as the Chief Guest said that there is a need to keep pace with the growing demand in STEM fields. "The University graduates should look forward to fill STEM jobs as a majority of our future jobs would fall under this category," she said adding, "I wish I had made my career in STEM."
Dr Hameeda pointed out that we need to encourage students currently in our educational systems, as well as future generations of students, to understand and embrace the technology that affects them every day. "Students should be advised on the merits of taking math and science courses in school and higher education," said Dr Hameeda.
Urging girls to take up STEM education, Dr Hameeda said that in today's world, when women are increasingly prominent in medicine, law and business; women should overcome social barriers to increase their numbers in STEM fields.
She further said that gone are the days when negative stereotypes were used in evaluating academic performances of girl students. "Today, girl students are proving that they can excel in all fields," pointed Dr Hameeda.
Speaking on the Women's College students, who are now pursuing research and masters programmes in STEM education; the Guest of Honour, Prof Naima K Gulrez, Principal, Women's College said, "Our students are like uncut diamonds, who need to be shaped by their teachers."
STEM education has been a powerful engine of prosperity and more actions to motivate a new generation of students towards STEM careers is the need of the hour, said Prof Naima. "We need to ensure the production of a sufficient number of experts in STEM fields to meet the national and global needs and graduation students must understand that STEM provides versatile and important careers in the contemporary world and most new developments are from the contributions of STEM fields," she added.
Speaking on STEM Graduate Research Project, Prof Farukh Arjmand, Co-Director, APJ Abdul Kalam STEM ER Centre emphasised that STEM fields stand at the center of virtually all global conditions in the 21st century and at the same time, however, student interest and performance in STEM education needs to be boosted.
She said that the proportion of boys and girls in STEM education needs to improve. "All India Survey on Higher Education published this year shows that the gross enrolment ratio (GER) in STEM Education for male students is 24.3 percent, while it is 23.2 percent for females," pointed Prof Arjmand.
She discussed the Ohio State University (OSU) and AMU's Memorandum of Agreement (MaU) through which a two-year dual PhD and Masters of Education (MEd-STEM) degree program under the pilot project, STEM-ER, funded by the US-India Education Foundation (USIEF) is running successfully.
Prof Arjmand explained how under the OSU-AMU collaboration, students are completing courses of the first academic year at OSU and returning to AMU to continue the second year for the dual PhD plus MEd (STEM) degrees. "These students have been conducting research at the most advanced facilities under OSU and AMU advisors, as well as mastering novel teaching methodologies practiced at the universities in USA," said Prof Arjmand.
Welcoming the guests, Prof Tauheed Ahmad, Director, APJ Abdul Kalam STEM Centre said that technology-driven economy and skilled workforce in STEM fields are the driving force for innovation of a nation. "We need to become a more innovative and technologically capable economy and should not lag behind in STEM education." He also gave an over view of the APJ Abdul Kalam STEM Centre and its work.
Prof Nadeem Khalil, Co-Director, APJ Abdul Kalam STEM ER Centre proposed the vote of thanks.
Dr Sabeeha Parveen spoke on the OSU-AMU research collaboration and the visit of STEM fellows to OSU, while Ms Swaleha Naseem discussed the OSU-AMU STEM-ER Project.
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