McEducation: Issues and challenges in STEM/STEAM education

The Ministry of Education (MoE), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the National Institute of Education (NIE) jointly organised an event on 31 March 2023 at Royal College, Colombo. At the event, the Minister of Education, Dr. Susil Premajayantha, announced that the government was planning to transform the country’s education system starting 2024 by introducing “STEAM” (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) education. STEAM is distinct from “STEM” (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), which was promoted earlier by the government, with the NSF as the designated national focal point.

Decolonising SL universities

Recent socio-political debates in Sri Lanka on higher education suggest that universities are being viewed as neo-liberal institutions set up to produce human capital for the market. State imperatives to produce employable graduates with the desired mix of knowledge, skills, and competencies to serve the (global) economy have translated to a growing marginalisation of the arts in favour of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programmes at universities.