Minister Foley announces consultation on second phase STEM Education Implementation Plan 2022-2026
Published on: 17 December 2021
Minister for Education Norma Foley TD today announced a wide-ranging consultation process as part of the development of phase two STEM Education Implementation Plan under the STEM Education Policy Statement 2017-2026.
Minister Foley said: "It is important that our children and young people have real opportunities for high-quality STEM experiences at a young age. We know that having this access can have a lasting impact and can set the stage for their later engagement and success in these fields. The STEM Education Policy Statement 2017-2026 acknowledges that there is a need to enhance STEM learning for learners of all backgrounds, abilities and gender, from early years education through to post-primary.
"This consultation process will take the form of surveys and focus groups, and I am inviting all those with an interest in STEM education to ‘have your say’. It is critical that the voices of all our stakeholders are heard and feed into the development of the new implementation plan. It is your views that will shape the delivery and future of STEM education over the next four years from 2022 to 2026”.
While the Covid pandemic has impacted on delivery of actions to date much progress has still been made.
The Department of Education has made progress on STEM-related curricular reform with the publication of the Gender Balance in STEM report.
This is supported by the provision of a dedicated STEM section on Scoilnet.ie with over 9,000 national and international resources and a STEM continuous professional development (CPD) Support Framework to ensure improved professional STEM learning experiences within and across sectors and improved learner outcomes for STEM learners.
The policy statement recognises the importance of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education to foster creativity in learning from early years to post primary and beyond and the need for all stakeholders to work together in order to nurture and develop our learners.
The implementation plan will be informed by learnings from the implementation of the policy statement to date and the views and opinions of education stakeholders.
In addition to this public consultation a series of STEM education consultations will be undertaken with key stakeholders, including primary and post-primary students, schools, early years settings, higher and further education institutions, teachers, early years practitioners, parents, business and industry, education partners, STEM related organisations/associations and out-of-school STEM providers.
It will also be informed by recommendations in relation to Gender Balance in STEM and STEM and the Arts developed by STEM Education advisory groups, as set up by the Department of Education to support the implementation of the policy statement.
In addition to the information collected through this consultation, the learnings from implementation of STEM education in early years settings and schools and consideration of government policies and priorities will be taken into account.