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STEM recipe makes for a self-learning and environmentally aware child

STEM recipe makes for a self-learning and environmentally aware child

Tariq al Ghussein, CEO, Taqeef


The pace of technological advancements in today’s world has unleashed a wave of innovation – creating new industries, new jobs and new expectations for tomorrow’s workforce.  Indeed, according to the report ‘Future Skills – Supporting the UAE’s Future Workforce’, released by the British Council early last year, local job seekers of tomorrow will need to sharpen their skills to the highest level in order to succeed in an extremely competitive market.

So, it’s no surprise to see STEM taking centre stage in education throughout the world.  In today’s digitally driven climate Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths skills are underpinning everything our children do – in school and at home.  With e-learning and e-playing, our children are now tech-savvy from a young age. So, the key for us as business and industry leaders is to harness this passion for technology and channel it into developing a generation of innovators and pioneers, right here on our doorstep.

According to the 2018 edition of the ‘Future of Job’ report by the World Economic Forum, jobs for data analysts and scientists, software and applications developers, and e-commerce and social media specialists, will increase in the years up to 2022. And, as we look beyond this, while the jobs of the future might be nameless right now, they’ll certainly be centered around technology. If we’re going to give our children the head start we all want – a STEM education seems like a sensible investment.

Our own experience with STEM education programmes (Taqeef established the iMatter CSR Schools Innovation Project in 2017) has shown us how easy it is to excite young minds, break down gender barriers, and widen horizons through hand-on experiential learning. By exposing students to STEM – by getting them into coding, robotics, clean energy design, sustainability and so much more –  we’re encouraging them to question and use their reason and logic to reach some new conclusions. And we do this with the hope that it will help them find their innate talent and passion in one of these fields to become the change-makers of tomorrow. It’s today’s students who will not only drive growth and stability in the economy but also project the UAE into the future.

The UAE government has been instrumental in motivating the younger generation and instilling a belief that they can bring about a positive change for the country. With around 60% of the population under the age of 29, and half of those under 15, initiatives such as UAE Vision 2021 and the Emirates Mission to Mars are milestones that prove to today’s youth that the sky really is the limit.

Studies show that 1.9 million jobs in the UAE will become redundant because of technology such as artificial intelligence, robotics, 3-D printing and self-driving cars. And while that’s a scary figure, it’s also an inspirational one, as the jobs of tomorrow will be created by the enquiring minds of today. By asking our children to face new challenges and opportunities, by changing the way they learn, by asking them to think about real world problems and help find solutions – we’re building the economy and the workforce of tomorrow. One idea at a time.