STEM Education Subjects To Be Prioritised

The Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton, T.D. has launched his Department’s STEM Education Policy Statement 2017-2026 and Implementation Plan 2017-2019. In line with the objective to be the best in Europe, the plan being published today sets out the Minister’s intention to make Ireland a European leader in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) education by 2026.

Speaking at the Launch, Minister Bruton said “We are undergoing a technological revolution globally. If Ireland is to be at the forefront of this transformation, we must be a leader in nurturing, developing and deploying STEM talent. This Policy Statement focusses on the many strengths in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics education in Ireland while providing a roadmap to address the areas for development”.

Key ambitions include:

  • Increase by 20% the total students taking Chemistry, Physics, Technology and Engineering for Leaving Certificate
  • Increase by 40% the number of females taking STEM subjects for Leaving Certificate
  • Increase participation in out-of-school STEM learning opportunities and STEM career activities
  • Introduce a new primary maths curriculum, which will include creative and computational thinking and coding
  • Accelerate the introduction of Computer Science at Leaving Certificate, with implementation brought forward to September 2018
  • Introduction of new Junior Cycle Mathematics and Technology curricula
  • Teachers will use a cross-disciplinary approach to incorporating STEM across all subjects
  • Enhance STEM teaching, learning and assessment practices in early years settings
  • Close the gap in achievement in STEM disciplines between students in DEIS schools and students in all schools significantly
  • Ensure that all schools, learners and parents have access to high quality information on the diversity of STEM careers
  • Build robust and sustainable partnerships between schools, business and industry, public sector bodies, research organisations, further and higher-level institutions and the Arts

Achieving these goals will require a significant step-up in support to teachers and school leaders and encouragement of innovation in teaching methods.

Actions to deliver on these ambitions will be included in the annual programme under the Action Plan for Education and their impact will be reported on.

The policy statement document can be viewed at the following link – https://www.education.ie/en/The-Education-System/STEM-Education-Policy/stem-education-policy-statement-2017-2019.pdf

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