STEM skills need lifelong nurturing
A problem too big for the political cycle.
The Commonwealth’s announcement yesterday that it will invest $12 million into boosting STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects in Australian schools is yet another example of its failure to recognise the critical nature of these skills to the future of our economy.
The funding would be great to boost science, technology, engineering and maths in one city or one region, but spread across the national schooling system it works out at about $4 per head.
The process has now degenerated to the point where students planning to be maths teachers aren’t studying enough senior high school maths to properly qualify. This shortage of qualified teachers is just one of the concerns expressed in the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute’s policy paper Dealing with Australia’s Mathematical Deficit.