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S.T.E.M. is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. It was first coined in the early 1990’s, but was mostly focused on Science and Mathematics ( White, 2014). In the 21st century, new technologies are engineered and emerge every day, and those people who can use science, mathematics, and engineering to solve new problems will be in demand.
Today, STEM is quickly becoming an educational initiative because of its integrative approach. These days, every job require some amount of skill in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). But if in Pakistan many students graduated without these skills. That’s not just bad for our students; it’s bad for our communities that lack the well-trained workforce needed to attract today’s jobs. Maintaining our scientific and technological leadership is essential to our economy, our national security and our future. It’s not just about science and math; it’s about being ready for college, careers and life (Mcdanial, 2016).
The most serious challenge our nation faces regarding STEM Education is the lack of female students in STEM fields. It is imperative that all students have access to quality STEM Education programs. Female students need to be encouraged from an early age to engage with STEM studies. Many talented female students fail to complete their degrees in a STEM field for a variety of reasons. Pakistan is at a crucial point in its development, and education has a strong role to play in encouraging further development.
Women’s education and inclusion in educational institutions is particularly important. The situation in developed countries is not different, the STEM subjects are disproportionately dominated by male students ( Christie et, al. 2017). According to data of World Bank in 2014, among of all the children who are not in school, 57% of these children are girls in Pakistan. Sadly, girls face discrimination when it comes to getting an education, and then face further discrimination even when they are in education. Later on in life, fewer women receive PhDs than men, and in Pakistan women are seriously underrepresented in STEM careers .There is a whole tangle of reasons why the gender gap in Stem exists. One is a pipeline issue – fewer girls than boys choose to study Stem subjects at secondary school and university. T
he social and peer pressure, negative stereotype, lack of encouragement and perceived marginalisation of women who work in STEM fields are one of the main factors that affect women existence in stem subjects. Many theories have also been developed to attempt to explain how these phenomena influence young women and their communities. The first of these is the ‘Rational Choice’ theory, which refers to the rational decision-making process children and young people use to make decisions during their education. Rational choice attributes these choices to a cost/ benefit analysis, balancing long term utility against short term failure ( Gabay ,et.al , 2014).
‘Gender Socialisation Theory’ posits that through a lifetime of interactions, corrections, and occasionally ridicule and ostracism, individuals ultimately learn to comply with a regime of gendered norms ( Carter, 2014). Similarly, the ‘Looking Glass Self’ theory claims that through a lifetime of interactions, corrections, and occasionally ridicule and ostracism, individuals ultimately learn to comply with a regime of gendered norms . Similarly, the ‘Looking Glass Self’ theory claims that our self-perceptions do not necessarily reflect our true capabilities but rather what we perceive others’ opinions of our capabilities to be ( Gecas, 1983).
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