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Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Space traveller Namira Salim urges govt to introduce STEM system

STEM system will help increase intellectual level of local schoolgirls and they could compete with international students

The image released on Nov 15, 2023 shows Namira Salim, the first Pakistani space traveler at Dubai Air show. —x/namirasalim

LAHORE: Pakistan’s first female space traveller Namira Salim has urged the government to introduce a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education system in the country. 

According to The News, Namira said that the system should be introduced especially for schoolgirls so that they can be a part of the international community in various fields in future.

In the telephonic interaction on Saturday, Namira said she was proud to be the first Pakistani female space traveller and her adventurous journey will not stop here and she will be eyeing bigger goals now.

Namira was also the first Pakistani woman who erected the national flag at both the North Pole and South Pole. She said she waited for 17 years to go to space and all this time her hopes were high and she was determined to achieve her goal.

Talking about her space travel, she said when you go out in orbit and see the blue, brown and white world, you forget what you are, and it seems so beautiful that can’t be explained in words. She said she witnessed both the sunrise and sunset from the orbit while she saw a half-moon from there.

Before her journey to space, President Dr Arif Alvi presented her with a national flag, which she took along to space.

Namira is the first Pakistani to go to space aboard the Galactic 04 mission on Virgin Galactic on October 7, 2023, from Spaceport America in New Mexico, USA.

Talking about her passion, she said she has started making mini-satellites with the collaboration of two universities in the USA and Kenya. The important thing about this project will be that students will make mini-satellites, which will be sent to orbit and voices messages of world leaders, important personalities and religious scholars will be broadcast in space to give the message of love for humanity.

On a question about providing technical assistance to the Government of Pakistan as well as collaboration with local universities, Namira Salim said she was always available to assist the government, universities and students.

“The future era is the commercialisation of orbit and the UAE and Saudi Arabia are already working on tapping the commercial activity avenues in space,” she said and urged the Pakistan government to also join either the American or Russian space programmes and send astronauts in space through them.

She said the government should also engage the private sector in introducing platforms and opportunities for students, especially schoolgirls about the STEM education system and advanced studies. 

This will help increase the intellectual level of local schoolgirls and they could compete with international students. Namira wished to meet caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar and give him a lot of suggestions, which could help promote women’s empowerment and STEM education.

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