Technology Should Form the Core of Our Education.

Technology Should Form the Core of Our Education.

“Jobs in the 21st century, even those outside STEM fields, will increasingly demand a technologically literate workforce. All students must have basic STEM literacy in order to be full and active participants in our increasingly technology-based democracy.” This is a quote from the United States National Science Board, October 2007.

Fifteen years later, we can see the reality from this statement as a country. The only sad reality is that our adaptation has been quite slow. When we meet with other equals from across the globe, we can’t often match their prowess in terms of technological discipline diffusion especially in non-computer-based fields (although all fields converge here.)

I was interacting with a group of academicians recently when I saw the reality of this. With some background in the sciences, I was armed to offer the theoretical knowledge I have learned, of course, which forms the stepping stone in most cases, as a way of showing that I have some knowledge in the field.

But then when it came down to the practical aspect of the knowledge, I was on my own. My approach to solving any challenges today from the chemistry angle would be through trial and error. This is to mean that I set a hypothesis and then get set to justify or nullify it based on experimental data from the very beginning.

If I was so well-versed in computational chemistry, one of my areas of interest, I would begin by using computer programs to model or simulate whatever I would be interested in solving before actually embarking to solve it.

The advantage of such an approach means that from the modeling or simulation, one can theoretically know which approach will be of greater value and thus chose to focus on that. It saves the researcher the energy of doing a hundred experiments to try and pin on that one that may work. It is the computer that does all those possible “experiment scenarios” and pins on that one that has a greater potential of success.

The scientist then focuses on that single component and goes ahead to identify avenues for optimizing it. What this means is that technology is indispensable in this age and era and will continue to be so for years to come irrespective of the field of endeavor.

It thus calls that as we develop our curriculums and syllabuses as a country, we should ensure that they are technologically centered. It doesn’t matter what field of study it is, but it must be in such a way that that discipline and technology merge at some point.

Let STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) disciplines be given priority in our institutions. Yet even as we do that, we must also ensure that technology is at the very core of them all. Only then can we begin to play a very big role in finding solutions to our challenges.

The education that is being offered today, whose sole aim is to produce the guy who is competent in doing repetitive tasks which can be easily automated, should be replaced with the all-around individual who gets to be called upon to offer solutions to challenges whenever they arise.

We should do this and do it fast. Otherwise, time will catch up with us and beat us as it seems to be doing now in some areas such as health.

Geoffrey Ndege

Geoffrey Ndege

Geoffrey Ndege is the Editor and topical contributor for the Daily Focus. He writes in the areas of Science, Manufacturing, Technology, Innovation, Governance, Management and International Emerging Issues. For featuring, promotions or support, reach out to us at
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