I have written to the Scottish Government following last week's debate on the Government consultation on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Education and Training Strategy.
Scottish Green MSPs welcome the Scottish Government’s consultation on its STEM Education and Training Strategy for Scotland.
STEM is a massively important part of our public education, but also a highly visible example of our society-wide gender inequalities. My Green MSP colleague, Alison Johnstone highlighted this issue during last week’s debate.
We welcome the strategy’s actions on gender segregation, in my view tackling gender imbalances in STEM subjects and occupations must form part of the strategy’s aims. The Cabinet Secretary’s commitment to “consider the aims of the strategy to ensure that the fundamental issue of addressing the gender imbalance is at the heart of all that we do in taking forward the next steps of the strategy” in closing the debate was a welcome commitment.
Alison Johnstone also referred to the role of science festivals and science centres in inspiring young people into science and challenging gender stereotypes. She made a call for every primary school pupil to have access to these inspiring events. In your reply you were positive about these ideas. The draft Strategy includes general support for centres and festivals but I would welcome more details on how the Scottish Government intend to give more pupils access.
Finally, we know that some primary teachers lack confidence in teaching science. I believe we can overcome this with professional development opportunities and the right support. I would appreciate more information on how the Scottish Government intends to support the primary teaching profession to deliver science in our classrooms.
Ross Greer MSP
Scottish Green Party
West of Scotland