As part of a broader aim at preparing young people for the jobs of the future, Mexico’s Ministry of Public Education is gearing up to promote STEM (science, technology, engineering & maths) education, placing significant focus on female students.
The new program will be jointly run by the Ministry of Public Education, the Mexican Academy of Science, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
Five out of ten students studying in Mexican universities are women, according to the OECD, but many girls refuse to choose science as a career. There is a lack of confidence among females in STEM, says the organization.
There have been many campaigns in Mexico recently to encourage women to pursue a career STEM fields. The U.S.-Mexico Foundation, for example, is running a program called “Mujeres en STEM”, while the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) is working with Mexican universities to teach different concepts of STEM.
Persistent efforts of this kind will certainly help increase the number of students graduating in STEM courses, say analysts. Javier Treviño Cantú, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Public Education (SEP), stated recently that his department had seen tremendous interest among students across the country in learning science & technology.
As part of the program, the government will build a network of mentors, and organize workshops and educational events to drum up interest. However, say analysts, it will be a challenge to persuade more female students to pursue a college major in STEM fields.
Some reports say that Mexico is currently producing a higher proportion of STEM graduates than the United States. In 2012, the Washington Post noted that Mexico was graduating 130,000 engineers and technicians a year, more than Canada, Germany, or even Brazil, which has nearly twice the population of Mexico.