KUCHING, May 22 — The private sector and public agencies in the state should organise more events and programmes to help promote interest among students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
This is according to Minister of Education, Innovation and Talent Development (MEITD) Datuk Roland Sagah Wee Inn who said the state needs to achieve 60 per cent of students in STEM under the Post-Covid Development Strategy (PCDS) 2030.
He revealed that currently only about 30 percent of students in Sarawak are enrolled in STEM packages.
“My Ministry is tasked to look into the development of talents needed for Sarawak.
“In this case Sarawak needs highly skilled researchers and graduates to reach its aspiration to be a global innovation cluster by year 2030, which can only be achieved by having more students enrolled in STEM packages,” he said at the launch of Sarawak Biodiversity Centre (SBC) Biodiversity Day here yesterday.
He commended SBC for organising the event which focused on raising awareness on science and technology as well as SBC’s research programmes on biodiversity.
There will be a lot of scientific games for students and children, he added, which are important to support Sarawak‘s effort to increase STEM graduates and workforce.
“I see that there is a potential for SBC to contribute to our role to develop highly skilled talents through its industrial student training programme as well as being a centre for the exchange of scientists to promote collaborations,” he said.
On the outlook for SBC, Sagah said he is looking forward to the launch and completion of the Sarawak Bioindustrial Park (SBP) which was announced by the Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.
He sees the park as strategic to SBC’s research and discoveries pipeline.
“It should take up the challenge to attract investments to Sarawak to develop a bio-based industry that is established on sustainable principles,” he said and added that SBC has one of the most advanced labs in Sarawak, funded fully by the state government.
SBC, he said, has a unique feature not commonly seen in other institutes “where traditional knowledge meets science to unravel new discoveries for the world to see.
“Traditional knowledge of indigenous communities on their use of biodiversity is important and should be preserved because this knowledge can help scientific research,” he added.
Later, the minister witnessed the signing ceremony of the Benefit Sharing Agreement (BSA) on LitSara Project between SBC and six indigenous communities. — Borneo Post