Nonfiction in response to Quality Education
By Grace Muresan
Image Credit: Grace Muresan
What is quality education, and why is it important? The United Nations defines quality education as the key to break from the cycle of poverty, and to empower children to live healthier and more sustainable lives. (1)
My goal in this article is to promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) as an important part of quality education because the future is in science and technology. According to OECD Science, Technology and Innovation Outlook 2016, over the next 15 years, digital technologies will continue to have major impacts on economies and societies. (2)
Therefore, we need our future generations to have STEM more incorporated in their learning. Moreover, most jobs are in STEM, and STEM workers are less likely to experience job loss, which means they may lead more sustainable lives. However, the numbers of people working in the STEM department are not growing as they should be. (3)
We are not completely idle, though. For example, CARE is a nonprofit organization which provides disaster relief to areas in crisis while providing long-term solutions to poverty around the world. It is also working on improving education.
I went to Stanford to attend the Scale X challenge, held by CARE. During the Scale X challenge, six teams with exceptional ideas were showcased, but I will focus on one which is most related to our 4th and current goal, Quality Education.
Called Teachers Resource Labs, as named by the managers of CARE India, its purpose is to build teachers’ capacities and to equip them to promote and teach STEM for girls, which is exactly what the United Nations wants the government and private sectors to invest in. (4)
CARE India began their campaign after visiting a school, where they asked each student to explain their dream job.
One girl said, “I want to be a Computri!”
“What do you mean?” the interviewers asked.
“A computer girl. Computer with ‘putri’ at the end is computri.” (putri translates into girl in Sanskrit)
After that visit, they knew that they had to do something to help this girl and probably a thousand more children reach their dream of becoming a person with competent computer skills or working in other STEM-related jobs.
Teachers Resource Labs still has a long way to go to improve STEM education. So far, they have refurbished teacher’s resource libraries and provisioned them with necessary learning materials, which supports the UN’s hopes for improving education. The teachers also have monthly meetings to discuss how to tackle the issues of poor academic performances and learning outcomes. This program provides continuous follow ups and hand-holding support for the teachers to become more motivated in delivering quality education for students in the marginalized sections of the society.
What does the United Nations think we can do to help ensure quality education for all? (5)
They want us to:
Ask our governments to place education as a priority in both policy and practice.
Lobby our governments to make firm commitments to provide free primary school education to all, including vulnerable or marginalized groups.
Encourage the private sector to invest resources in the development of educational tools and facilities
Urge NGOs to partner with youth and other groups to foster the importance of education within local communities
Why should you care or want to get involved? Because by improving education we are preparing our world for the future.
Quality education is an education that prepares children for their future.
STEM learning should be an important part of quality education.
Schools should be funded so that all children have a chance to learn with proper equipment.
Teachers should be properly trained and provided with continuous support to ensure their motivation in providing high quality education.
CARE Scale X challenge event: