Published: 13th June 2017
Here's how STEM Labs set up in Telangana will stem sinking numbers of girls in Science streams
Schools in Telangana will have STEM labs that will renew the focus on Maths and Science in a big way, despite fears that the IT sector will take a tumble in the years to come
The recent spate of layoffs and reports that automation and digitisation will impact careers of IT professionals has created fear. But Jayesh Ranjan, Telangana's IT Secretary says he is confident that professionals who are talented and skilled will have no toruble landing jobs.
Launching Qualcomm’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education initiative for underprivileged students, particularly girls, Ranjan assured, “There is no doubt, some may lose jobs to machine learning and Artificial Intelligence but, the talented won't lose jobs. Nearly four lakh people work in IT sector in the city.”
Rekha Srinivasan, executive director of United Way, an NGO that has partnered with the organisation for the initiative, said that enrolment in government schools has become a lesser problem now. Sustaining girls in education is the task at hand. Quoting a UN survey, she said that only 18 per cent of girls study Bachelor of Science and this number falls to a lowly 8 percent who do Masters and a paltry 2 per cent do a doctorate in Science.
The project will be implemented in in 86 government schools of Khairatabad and Nampally mandals for at least the next three years. The project will focus on providing STEM labs and learning tools. It will also provide technical mentorship and allied activities including special coaching, exposure visits, and soft skills training like digital literacy, basic English and robotics.
“To motivate students and enhance their interest, the initiative will also provide scholarships and rewards for top performing students pursuing higher education in STEM fields,” said Shashi Reddy, vice-president Engineering Qualcomm India. Besides Hyderabad, the initiative has also been launched in Bengaluru in association with Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement and will be expanded to other cities too. It is expected to impact 130 schools and 18000 students in its first year of the project.