Higher ratio of engineers and scientists by 2020
KUALA LUMPUR: In line with the aim to achieve Vision 2020, the government anticipates a ratio of 72 research scientists and engineers (RSE) for every 10,000 people in the workforce by 2020.
The current ratio is 58.2 RSE for every 10,000 workers.
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the government was committed to transforming Malaysia into a developed and high-income nation.
"To do that, we need to strengthen the role of science and technology in driving the country's development," he said during the launch of "1001 Inventions: The Enduring Legacy of Muslim Civilisation" exhibition here yesterday.
Muhyiddin, however, said the popularity of science subjects was waning among schoolchildren and that more preferred to study in the arts stream.
The Education Ministry found that the number of students taking science subjects had started to decrease in 2006.
"In 2011, the percentage of secondary school students in the science stream was only 44.01 per cent. Unfortunately, many students have an aversion to science subjects even when they are in primary school."
Realising the importance of science, technology and innovation (STI), Muhyiddin said the government was continuously conducting efforts to hold more programmes to equip students with scientific knowledge.
"The 'Innovation Decade 2010-2020', spearheaded by the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry, is the best platform to realise the government's aspirations to promote STI."
Muhyiddin said the exhibition would inculcate a love for STI in students and the public.
"The learning process is not confined to the classroom. Such exhibitions will not only expose students to STI, but also inspire them to excel in science."
The internationally renowned "1001 Inventions" show, which was first held in the United Kingdom, is an award-winning exhibition and will be on at the National Science Centre until February.