countries like India and China in the fields of science and mathematics,
US President Barack Obama has said.Obama expressed his worry
about the lack of emphasis on encouraging students in mathematics,
science and engineering at a town hall meeting at Atkinson, wrapping up
his three-day bus tour to rural America on Wednesday.
“One of the
things I’m worried about and we’re trying to put a lot of emphasis on
in the Department of Education is, can we do more to encourage math,
science, engineering, technology learning… if you are a skilled
engineer, if you are a skilled computer scientist, if you’ve got strong
math and technical skills, you are going to be very employable in
today’s economy,” Obama said.
“That has to start even before
young people get to college. So we’re trying to institute a whole —
what’s called a STEM program — science, technology, engineering and
math — in the lower schools so that kids start getting oriented towards
those fields,” he said.
The US president said that
these areas are ones in which America has traditionally had a
comparative advantage, but “we’re losing ground to China and India”
where students are more focused on those subjects.
“I will tell
you, though, just in case there are any French teachers here or foreign
language teachers, having a foreign language, that’s important, too.
makes you so much more employable because if you go to a company and
they’re doing business in France or Belgium or Switzerland or Europe
somewhere, and they find out you’ve got that language skill, that’s
going to be important as well,” he said.