In recent years, the Australian school system has seen a drop in the number of students taking Math and Science subjects. Those who did, also chose easier versions in order to get good grades. Many universities do not put these subjects as prerequisites and therefore, students were entering fields like Engineering without even having to take basic levels of Math and Science in high school.
Math and Science in the World
There has been a rising emphasis on STEM subjects all over the world. STEM refers to the study of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics related subjects. The world has shifted towards technology both in the classrooms and in our everyday lives. The importance of science and innovation is becoming more prevalent and it doesn’t look like it is going to change. Classrooms are now filled with computers and books have been swapped for tablets.
Shortage of STEM Teachers
Australia needs to keep up with these changing times but unfortunately the biggest problem with the decrease in interest in Math and Science, has been the lack of skilled teachers. Many current Math and Science teachers have not even taken the subject at a tertiary level. The Australian Council for Educational Research warns that this trend is only going to get worse. For example, about 40% of today’s physics teachers will retire in the next decade and there aren’t enough trainee teachers to take their place.
Federal Government Plan
In July this year, the Federal Government came up with a plan promising to bring in specialist Math and Science teachers to every school. They are hoping to catch student’s interests in these subjects at a young age by introducing them to these teachers who are passionate enough about these subjects to have continued to study them at higher levels.
This is not going to be an easy task. Finding teachers that are skilled enough and being able to supply every school with them will be difficult. The biggest scarcity of skilled teachers lies out in remote areas, where schools are lacking funds and resources to equip themselves with the technology and the knowledge that their students need to stay up to date with the rest of the country.
The Federal Government is hoping that states and territories will cooperate with their plan and strive to hire more knowledgeable educators. They are also looking at alternatives like higher salaries and bursaries for education to entice people to enter this career.
STEMmates for Math and Science
STEMmates courses are designed with children in mind. Our well-trained teachers are here to inspire and get your child interested in Math and Science at an early age. Find out how you can give your child a head start on a career that will take him places as an adult on our Facebook and website pages today.