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A solution contributes to building high-quality human resources for smart city

Update: 27-06-2019 | 10:33:22

In recent years, STEM education model (science - technology - engineering - math) / STEAM (science - technology - engineering - arts and mathematics) has been applied by many schools in Vietnam. According to expert’s assessment, this is an educational model adapted to the development trend of Industry 4.0. While Binh Duong province is implementing a smart city construction project, this educational model contributes to building high-quality human resources.

STEM education model helps learners expand their creativity, apply, combine scientific knowledge to improve products. In photo: Robotic creation of at "Festival of introduction of creative experiences, technology playing field" hosted by provincial Department of Science and Technology.

 To enhance creativity

According to educational experts, STEM education model, besides equipping learners with integrated knowledge and skills related to science, technology, technique, and mathematics, also help learners in not only understanding principles but also applying it into practice and creating products in everyday life.

Nguyen Thanh Hai, STEM Education Research Institute (University of Missouri, USA), said that with STEM there was no barrier between learning theoretical knowledge and application. STEM educational programs are necessarily turn towards practical activities and the use of knowledge to create products or solve real-life problems. Along with the development of STEM, there is STEAM, which adds artistic elements to motivate creative thinking.

A representative of Teach for Vietnam Organization – a non-profit organization operating in the field of education, search, and development of talented and dedicated young generations from many professions to create strong ecosystems supporting education, especially building an equal education, excellent learning environment for Vietnamese children – shared that rather than teaching four subjects as separate and discrete ones, STEM combined them into a coherent learning model based on practical applications. STEM education does not aim at training students to become mathematicians, scientists, engineers, or technicians, but mainly equips students with knowledge and skills to work and develop in today's modern technological world, especially in the current Industry 4.0 trend.

Nguyen Quoc Cuong, Director of Department of Science and Technology, said that STEM / STEAM's innovation and education are closely linked to the goal of the innovation economy that the world is aiming for. This is also consistent with the goal of the smart city construction and changing the economic growth model of Binh Duong province. In the current period, STEM / STEAM will contribute to promoting innovation in education and at the same time forming high-quality human resources from high school to college and university levels.

To step by step apply STEM model

Based on the benefits of STEM, on 4 May 2017, the Prime Minister issued Directive 16/CT-TTg to assign tasks to governmental sectors to improve the capacity for approaching Industry 4.0. Accordingly, the Prime Minister urged drastic changes in policies, contents, methods of education and vocational training to create human resources capable of receiving new production technology trends, including a focus on promoting STEM training in addition to foreign languages and computer science in general education.

Mr. Cuong said, STEM education model promotes creative learning style. STEM places learners in the role of an inventor, learners must know how to expand knowledge; must know how to repair and re-process them to suit the problem situation that learners are having to solve... In the future, Department of Science and Technology will collaborate with Department of Education and Training to apply STEM / STEAM model in secondary, high school, junior colleges, colleges, and universities in the province. This is a necessary step to be able to catch up with Industry 4.0.

At the Binh Duong seminar "STEM / STEAM Education from practical experience to creative thinking" held in May, teachers and lecturers of high schools and educational institutions in the province all appreciated STEM education model. However, teachers believed that it was necessary to take appropriate steps to implement this model and to choose an approach based on the actual situation of each school. Kieu Doanh Nhan, a teacher of Tran Hung Dao secondary school (Phu Giao district), said that STEM education model was excellent, is able to awake students’ creativity, to help students become more passionate about studying, especially in the application of scientific knowledge. The application of STEM must be appropriate to situation of each school, strengths of the invested facilities of each school, avoid a spreading investment, which is both inefficient and wasteful.

“Binh Duong province, in the Industry 4.0, is implementing the smart city construction, thus STEM would become an educational channel to build a qualified workforce. The quality of human resources is an important element to Triple Helix model. STEM education is an advanced integrated educational method, creates capable people to work well in a highly creative work environment”, said To Thuy Diem Quyen, Global Education Specialist of Microsoft.

Reported by Hoang Pham – Translated by Ngoc Huynh

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