There are several models that need to be adopted in an education system. Qatar which has increasing needs for skilled people to advance its economy needs to ensure that appropriate models are adopted. The STEAM model will be analyzed in this research so as to ensure that the students realize their full potential and meet the increasing demands of Qatar. This will be a questionnaire based survey targeting secondary schools and Universities at all categories in Qatar. The data will be analyzed using SPSS version 22 and data presented as means in tables and charts. The results from this study will ensure that relevant measures are taken to ensure that the STEAM model is adopted in education institutions to meet its objectives in line with the national vision 2030 in Qatar.
1.1 Background information
The increasing development projects and globalization have brought about dynamic changes in the labor markets. This means that there needs to be technologies and expertise developed to cope up and match these new economic sectors (Al-Ghanim, et al., 2014). The people trained in the academic institutions need to have the proper skills that are needed in the economy. This calls for the education systems to be changed so that they can suit the needs of the economy. For instance, the system of education can be interdisciplinary such that there can be an interaction in terms of problem-solving (Stasz et al., 2008). Moreover, there need to be technical specialties in the labor markets that are suited for the economic needs. The Gulf region has therefore put in place measures that aim at meeting the ever-changing economic dynamics. Much emphasis has been put on the knowledge-based economy through various planning protocols. This has been prompted following the shortage of skilled labor in the Gulf economies as a result of weaknesses in the education system. These problems arose due to a mismatch that has existed for long between the outcomes of education and the labor market. The education system was thus not able to provide the required professional in both scientific and other crucial areas such as industries and research. The various changes in education, therefore, need to be geared towards matching the outcomes of education with the professional needs of the society.
The STEAM program has been proposed for adoption within the Qatar education systems (Jolly, 2014). These programs make sure that the students who are being trained at all levels of education are ready to fit well in various places of work which are rich in terms of knowledge in Qatar. There is a growing need to inspire the students in Qatar to adopt the careers that are related to STEAM and take pride in them (Park & Lee, 2014). Some of the partners of STEAM program include the Maersk oil company. Some projects that the partners are undertaking in partnership with STEAM include the exploration of ICT in education and the Go robot project (Bidgood et al., 2010). All these and other education reforms are aimed at the realization of the Qatar national vision 2030. In terms of leadership in the education sector, Qatar relies on the K 12 system. This system is important because it views the education as a key factor for both social and economic aspects. However, the STEAM program in Qatar schools has not been widely adopted due to various weaknesses in terms of policy implementation. This research, therefore, aims at finding a STEAM Education school Model in order to develop the full potential for Qatar citizens in the process of coming up with skilled people (Kim & Choi, 2012). This needs to create research opportunities in training institutions, develop beneficial programs of education and train teachers to adopt collaboration strategies to strengthen the reality of STEM.
1.2.1 Broad objective
Finding STEAM Education school Model in order to develop full potential Qatari citizens creating skilled people.
1.2.2 Specific objectives
Evaluation of the STEAM education model in selected Qatar schools
Improvement in the adoption of STEAM model
1.3.1 Null hypothesis
The STEAM education model does not have any effect on the creation of skills among the students in Qatar.
1.3.2 Alternate hypothesis
The STEAM model in education makes the people develop their skills and realize their potential.
1.4 Statement of the problem
The students and generally all the citizens of Qatar have not been able to develop their full potential in form of skills. Therefore there is a need to use various programs in learning institutions so as the students can get the required skills early in their careers. The adoption of information technology tools enables the citizens to have hands-on skills for the needs of the economic sector of Qatar.
The teaching of entrepreneurship skills to the secondary and university students is useful in the creation of a current generation of creative entrepreneurs. These individuals need to take risks so as to venture in various economic initiatives. STEAM program is aimed at diversifying the economy of Qatar by large. The post-program evaluation enables the students and other citizens in developing critical thinking. The teachers need to develop standard programs and relevant training so that they can get skills and behaviors that enable them to pass them to students. These programs are able to expand the ranks of the students and need to be made compulsory in primary, secondary and University levels.
2.0 Literature review
2.1 Education in Qatar
Education in Qatar had not yet been adopted before the discovery of oil mining. Those days, the informal education involved the teaching of Quran in mosques. The children were also taught how to read and write in Kuttab, an informal system which involved both boys and girls. With time, the Doha education system came in which majorly focused on geography, mathematics, history and Islamic religion among other disciplines (Rostron, 2009). Later on, there have been schools that are funded by the government to support more education opportunities in Qatar. With these came some private schools which are placed in three different categories (Khodr, 2011). The community schools are those that deal with expatriated children such as those of Americans, Indians, Bretons and Pakistan’s. The second type is the private Arabic schools that majorly follow the Arabic curriculum based on their traditions. The third type of school is the international schools which use a foreign system of education and since it includes both expatriates as well as the Qatar students, it does not receive any form of sponsorship (Kobaisi, 1979).
2.2 The Ministry of Education in Qatar
The ministry of education in Qatar provides fully funded education to the Qatar children and those of expatriates who are employed by the government of Qatar. This has led to a growth in the literacy levels within a short period of time. This success has been attributed to the centralized nature of the ministry of education which oversees the progress of both public and private education (Greene, 2015). The ministry of education in Qatar is divided into various sections that include: finance, cultural affairs, administration and educational matters.
This ministry hires teachers from other Arabian countries and allocates them to respective schools. There are reports that most teachers are female indicating that most men do not train in this profession whereas the country is in dire need of teachers. Most girls’ school’s teachers are Qatari while most teachers in most schools are from other Arabian countries. The ministry of education conducts an evaluation but does not offer relevant professional development programs to the teachers before hiring them (Codd, 2005). The content and nature of the curriculum taught at each level of education is solely determined by the ministry of education of Qatar. Since the ministry considers the development of curriculum, it is the best to be used for the adoption of the STEM program.
2.3 Entrepreneurship education
Kuratko, 2005 argues that entrepreneurship is very important for the development and sustaining of various sectors of the economy. This form of education is also important for developing intentions, attitudes, and aspirations for individuals to start up and manage their economic ventures. Entrepreneurship education should also help the students in developing a mindset which is beneficial in the economic development of a nation in general. To achieve this, the students who are undergoing Entrepreneurship education should be able to have skills for finding out, acting and making the value of all opportunities that are at their disposal (Peterman & Kennedy, 2003). Qatar is mostly endowed with gas and oil and thus none of its citizens is really said to be unemployed. However, the government intends to adopt entrepreneurship strategies in order to diversify its economy. This includes the adoption of various programs, strategies, and regulations that aim at modernizing their business operations (Wilson et al., 2007).
For instance, the INJAZ Qatar is involved in offers education to the students regarding the needs of the workplaces, financial matters, and entrepreneurship. According to Salti, 2008, this organization aims at making sure that the skills of the people are used in the economy, youth are linked to successful business people and that the students are able to be innovative and be creative in generating new ideas. The program is mostly taught in schools and universities by professionals from different sectors.
2.4 National vision 2030 in Qatar
Qatar in its national vision 2010 aims to equip its citizens in order to be able to meet its growing needs. For instance, the curriculum should have training programs which are able to respond to both current as well as the future needs of the country (Scharfenort, 2012). These learning programs are aimed to be long enough such that every Qatar child is equipped with motivation and skills which have a significant contribution to the society. The government of Qatar aims at funding the scientific research which is conducted in private and public universities and international organizations.
2.5 Policies of the teachers
According to Collinson et al., 2009, the policies of teachers in schools are very crucial because they improve the quality of the services that they develop. This then translates to the quality of the knowledge which is passed down to the students who are future leaders. The ideal teacher for employment in a learning institution is one who has a positive attitude and aptitude. The government of Qatar should understand the reasons as to why most people do not like teaching profession. To encourage more teachers, the government should raise their salaries, improve the working standards and address their career prospects. The curriculum should be revised more often so as to that leadership issues can be attended to. The teachers need to be trained to adopt various programs which enable them to make career paths for their students.
Qatar has also adopted the Teach for Qatar policy in order to raise the standards of its teachers. This organization has prioritized mathematics, science and English language as the key drivers for economic development. Furthermore Loucks-Horsley et al., 2009 arguse that the creation of a knowledge base economy in Qatar there is every need reform the whole education system such that it is suited to address the needs of the country through the training of highly qualified individuals. This research will enhance the promotion of social cohesion to uphold the cultural and economical values of Qatar so that there can be a constructive relationship between this country and its neighbors.
3.1 study design
This study will employ a questionnaire based form of the survey in twenty secondary schools and forty Universities where the STEM program has been adopted. However, before the tool is administered, the participants will need to fill a consent form to participate in the study. This tool will be issued to a total of 300 participants i.e. 100 from secondary schools and 200 from universities. It will be detailed enough so as to understand the level of implementation, the key components of the program and the weaknesses of the programs. The level of satisfaction will also be evaluated between several categories of schools that are, the community, private and international schools in Qatar. This survey will be administered to both students as well as the teachers so as to determine their level of satisfaction. The validity of the details of the questionnaire will be tested especially to determine the attitude of the students towards the mathematics and science based subjects with regards to the STEAM model in education. In an effort to determine the level of accuracy of the results and feedbacks in this questionnaire, a validity test will be carried out. Furthermore, there are several factors whose effects can directly affect the responses. These factors include age, type of school (community and international) and the gender of the respondents. Bearing in mind that there are non-Arabic speaking students and teachers in Qatar, the questionnaires will be designed in two languages; English and Arabic.
3.2 Data analysis
Data will be coded, cleaned and analyzed using SPSS software version 22. The means, mode and standard deviation will be calculated and recorded on tables (Norušis, 2006). The data on frequencies will be presented in form of tables and charts. Chi-square will be used to test for independence between the variables. This will be necessary to make a test for the null hypothesis at p=0.05.
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