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For years, Malaysians have debated on whether science and mathematics should be taught in English or Bahasa Malaysia in schools. Each medium of instruction has its own advantages and disadvantages, but that is a story for another day. Today, we are faced with an even bigger problem; our youth are falling out of love with science.
According to a 2022 study by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI), interest in science among school leavers fell to just 40 per cent compared to 66.7 per cent recorded just three years prior. This worrying trend is also seen in the percentage of upper secondary school students participating in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) stream. Data from the Education Ministry showed that 45.2 per cent of students chose to study STEM in 2017, but this percentage dropped to 40.94 per cent in 2022. This downward trend needs to be addressed urgently if we are to stop it from continuing.