Accountants renew calls for STEM training
PwC has called for at least one STEM specialist teacher to be employed per school, and for greater prioritisation regarding school collaborations.
Providing every primary school in the country with access to at least one specialist STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) teacher could be possible if teachers are incentivised to acquire STEM specialisations and collaboration between schools is prioritised, according to a PwC report released today.
The recommendations serve as part of the PwC report Making STEM a Primary Priority, which looks at practical steps to improve the quality of science and mathematics teaching in Australian Primary schools.
"Australia is at an inflexion point," stated Sara Caplan, PwC national skills leader.
"Either we better prepare the next generation to thrive in an increasingly technologically complex and competitive global economy or we acquiesce to lower productivity, slower growth and declining standards of living.”
PwC managing partner Tony Peake noted that with 75 per cent of the fastest-growing occupations requiring STEM skills, shifting the workforce to accommodate this is essential.
"We must align our scientific effort to the national interest, focus on areas of particular importance or need and do it on a scale that it will make a difference to Australia and a changing world," said Mr Peake.
The PwC report also includes recommendations and practical strategies for consideration by the government, universities and school leaders around:
- Providing access to a specialist STEM teacher for every Australian primary school;
- Improving the standard of professional development in primary science and mathematics for all teachers;
- Better use of data for targeted teaching and enhanced learning in STEM and beyond; and
- Increasing the quality and quantity of STEM instruction in Australian primary schools.