PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS WITH SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING AND MATHEMATICS (STEM) SCHOOLS IN EGYPT
One of the main goals of STEM education is to prepare students to be proficient workers, capable of dealing with the demands of a science-based workforce, and continue the research and development that is central to the economic growth of the country. Undoubtedly, for a STEM student to be a proficient worker, achieve the requirements of the 21st century workforce skills, and be able to continue his scientific research, students are expected to attend training programmes related to specific industries before graduation and acquire the skills and experiences of scientific research in one of the research centres or institutes found in the community. Obviously, the establishment of STEM school public-private partnerships with national and multinational firms, businesses, universities and research centres seems to have an impact to support the start up of STEM schools in Egypt in the targeted communities. From the perspectives of the authors, the most effective partnerships are the sustainable ones that aim to meet community needs and priorities.
In a critique of isolated intervention of individual organizations to tackle student achievement problems and improve education throughout greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, Kania and Kramer, (2011) argued that shifting from isolated impact “an approach oriented toward finding and funding a solution embodied within a single organization, that each organization is judged on its own potential to achieve impact, independent of the numerous other organizations that may also influence the issue” to collective impact “ actual cross – sectors coordination” is not merely a matter of encouraging more collaboration or public- private partnerships. It requires a systemic approach that focuses on the relationships between different private and governmental organizations and the progress toward shared objectives. Certainly, it requires the creation of a new set of non-profit management organizations that have the skills and resources to assemble and coordinate the specific elements necessary for collective action to succeed. According to Kowalski (2010), such partnerships also seem to have the best attributes for citizen involvement.
In the authors’ view, we would like to increase the college and career readiness of our STEM school students, where the school is expected to be engaged in collective impact partnerships that employ networked improvement communities to transform the learning and teaching of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Throughout this paper, the authors propose a suggested model to establish partnerships between current STEM schools in Egypt and public-private sectors in order to develop students’ skills and also meet community needs. Students will not have a chance to develop their future needed working skills only, but also develop how to document their learning processes as life-long-leaners.
Kania J., Kramer M. (2011) Collective Impact. Stanford Social Innovation Review (Magazine)
http://www.ssireview.org/articles/entry/collective_impact. Assessed: 28/10/2012
Kowalski, T. (2010). Public-Private Partnerships, Civic Engagement, and School Reform. Journal of Thought, 45 (3-4), 71-93.