• The Tech Cube is an open-planned facility for TAS’ STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) program.

The Tech Cube is an open-planned facility for TAS’ STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) program. (Photo : Getty Images)

There are currently 10 million students being fast-tracked on the STEM education in China. This is a problem-based approach to learning, which combines knowledge in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

Like Us on Facebook

Zhoi Yu, mother of a 10-year-old son enrolled in the STEM education, spent approximately $3,000 for her child's yearly tuition, $350 for a Lego robotics set and $7,300 for a competition in the U.S. to test her kid's newly acquired engineering skills.

She said: "I don't have a cap on my budget. Yes, I’m investing a lot in his robotics education right now, but you have to take a long-term perspective and look at what opportunities it can bring him after he turns 18."

According to JMD Education, the number of STEM students will rise to about 50 million, as parents seek to give their children a good headstart when it comes to robotics and computer programming. They predicted that the demand for this type of education will result in a $15 billion STEM learning industry in China.

Wen Jing, a researcher at JMD education, said: "Future-job angst has helped spawn at least 500 institutions, startups in China offering out-of-school tuition in coding, robotics and 3D printing. It's an industry with little regulation or oversight."

These private education providers are helping plug the gaps when it comes to the teaching provided by the state.

He added: "Beijing is testing the benefit of giving parents annual subsidies of about $60 per child to help fund programs to nurture their children’s creativity. The money doesn’t go far though, as lessons can cost as much as $50 an hour in the national capital."

Nora Yeung, the founder of Creative Coding in Hong Kong, said: "For them to get a job in the future it’s almost like any literacy skill or language skill it’s going to become a basic need that they need to learn. We need to prepare these kids for jobs that don’t exist yet.”

The cost of the STEM-focused education may continue to climb in China basing on the trends in Singapore. Singapore has recognized STEM-focused education for years, and topped the global education survey by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.