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Pushing STEM forward

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The science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) field is faced with several roadblocks. Some of these include encouraging individuals to take this educational strand, providing workplace opportunities afterward and addressing the gender gap whether in State Universities and Colleges (SUC) or companies.

To address such matters, private sectors like the Philippine Women’s Economic Network (PhilWEN) and the Philippine Business Coalition for Women Empowerment (PBCWE) partnered with Edukasyon.ph to create the STEM Forward Digital Platform.

STEM Forward is a portal that is hosted on the Edukasyon.ph website. Similar to that of a jobs board, the interface will provide industry linkages to senior high school students in the STEM track for internship programs and other resource materials that can aid in learning.

The portal is put up in the hope of achieving a two-pronged mission — to encourage more young women to pursue careers in the STEM industry and connect more than a million Filipino students nationwide to educational opportunities such as schools, scholarships, career caravans and immersion programs.

In a recently held launch, the three organizations invited representatives of various SUC and workplaces to join the platform and discuss how to conveniently get senior high school students onboard for on-the-job training sessions.

“This partnership is all about helping students become more informed so they can make good decisions about their education and future careers,” Jason French, chief technology officer of Edukasyon.ph, said.

With regard to addressing the gender gap, French explained that the portal provides opportunities for women to become more involved in STEM and help them feel more comfortable in working with technology.

“Technology is something that’s part of everybody’s lives and it’s now more accessible than ever,” French added.

Support for schools, companies

STEM Forward is set to help schools provide students with more immersion programs from various reputable companies. It will allow them to better understand the skills and competencies needed in STEM workplaces which will eventually help them further enhance their curriculum.

On the other hand, businesses benefit from joining such a platform as it gives them an avenue to assess the capabilities and employability of SHS graduates.

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