The global shortage of critical skills in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Innovation (STEMI) has heightened the need to develop long-term strategies to address this problem. The Young Engineers and Scientists of Africa programme incubated within the Meraka Institute is focusing on the establishment of the pipeline to address this issue by introducing programmes that target the youth with specific skills development.
The National System of Innovation (NSI) has emphasised the need to increase the number of SET PhDs in the country in the coming years. The key priorities of the NSI include:-
- Improvement of competitiveness
- Improving the quality of life
- Ensuring environmental sustainability
- Work on human resource development
- Ensure community development through technology transfer instruments
There is a gap in the market to identify learners from as early on as possible to feed the NSI with the view to fast-tracking those learners who display identified SET talents. This must be viewed within the context of the Youth Into Science Strategy (YiSS) where additional support can be provided in order to increase both the quality and the quantity of learners entering SET careers.
The My YESA Passport is aimed at
- Tracking learners and Career Based Information
- Tracking an individual’s involvement in SET events and competitions from Grade 1 to PhD.
- Providing a verifiable source of information for learner involvement in SET events and competitions.
- Providing a “Journey Planner” to assist in the selection of careers in SET.
- Capturing their imagination of learners by providing up-to-date and relevant career and other information.
- Encouraging learners to accumulate more stamps for their passports by participating in additional online SET activities.
- Promoting collaboration through the Web 2.0 enabled personal web spaces with like-minded colleagues around the country.
- Including stimulating on-line Field and Lab work exercises.
- Encouraging learners to interact with the stimulating content while maintaining their own personal web spaces.
- Providing a platform for e-skills development.
- Gathering longitudinal statistical information on an individual’s progress.
- Identifying national trends of participation in SET events, competitions and Olympiads through the interrogation of the database.
- Supporting the Federation of Engineering, Science, Technology Olympiads and Competitions (FESTOC).
- Dissemination of important FESTOC dates directly to the learners via shared calendars.
- Increasing the network of national Issuing Authorities participating in the programme.
In essence My YESA Passport is about an innovate way of building a community of practice around YESA using social networking techniques accessible via mobile phones and the Internet.
My YESA Passport Brochure