WHAT SKILL WILL PUPILS NEED FOR THE FU­TURE?

Observer on Saturday - - Analysis & Opinion - With: Sihle Nkosi

e are fac­ing un­prece­dented chal­lenges – so­cial, eco­nomic and en­vi­ron­men­tal – driven by ac­cel­er­at­ing glob­al­i­sa­tion and a faster rate of tech­no­log­i­cal de­vel­op­ments.

At the same time, those forces are pro­vid­ing us with myr­iad new op­por­tu­ni­ties for hu­man ad­vance­ment. The fu­ture is un­cer­tain and we can­not pre­dict it; but we need to be open and ready for it. The chil­dren en­ter­ing ed­u­ca­tion in 2018 will be young adults in 2030. Schools can prepare them for jobs that have not yet been cre­ated, for tech­nolo­gies that have not yet been in­vented, to solve prob­lems that have not yet been an­tic­i­pated. It will be a shared re­spon­si­bil­ity to seize op­por­tu­ni­ties and find so­lu­tions.

To nav­i­gate through such un­cer­tainty, pupils will need to de­velop cu­rios­ity, imag­i­na­tion, re­silience and self-reg­u­la­tion; they will need to re­spect and ap­pre­ci­ate the ideas, per­spec­tives and values of oth­ers; and they will need to cope with fail­ure and re­jec­tion, and to move forward in the face of ad­ver­sity. Their mo­ti­va­tion will be more than get­ting a good job and a high in­come; they will also need to care about the well-be­ing of their friends and fam­i­lies, their com­mu­ni­ties and the planet.

Chil­dren en­ter­ing school in 2018 will need to aban­don the no­tion that re­sources are lim­it­less and are there to be ex­ploited; they will need to value com­mon pros­per­ity, sus­tain­abil­ity and well-be­ing. They will need to be re­spon­si­ble and em­pow­ered, plac­ing col­lab­o­ra­tion above divi­sion, and sus­tain­abil­ity above short-term gain. In the face of an in­creas­ingly volatile, un­cer­tain, com­plex and am­bigu­ous world, ed­u­ca­tion can make the dif­fer­ence as to whether peo­ple em­brace the chal­lenges they are con­fronted with or whether they are de­feated by them. And in an era char­ac­terised by a new ex­plo­sion of sci­en­tific knowl­edge and a grow­ing ar­ray of com­plex so­ci­etal prob­lems, it is ap­pro­pri­ate that cur­ric­ula should con­tinue to evolve, per­haps in rad­i­cal ways.

WNeed for Need new for so­lu­tions new so­lu­tions for a rapidly chang­ing for world a rapidly chang­ing world

So­ci­eties are chang­ing rapidly and pro­foundly. A sec­oSned­c­cohnadll­cehna­gleleis­nge­ceoin­soem­coicn:omic

Sci­en­tific knowl­edge is cre­at­ing new op­por­tu­ni­ties and so­lu­tions that can en­rich our lives, while at the same time fu­elling dis­rup­tive waves of change in ev­ery sec­tor. Un­prece­dented in­no­va­tion in sci­ence and tech­nol­ogy, es­pe­cially in bio-tech­nol­ogy and ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence, is raising fun­da­men­tal ques­tions about what it is to be hu­man. It is time to cre­ate new eco­nomic, so­cial and in­sti­tu­tional mod­els that pur­sue bet­ter lives for all.

Fi­nan­cial in­ter­de­pen­dence at lo­cal, na­tional and re­gional lev­els has cre­ated global value chains and a shared econ­omy, but also per­va­sive un­cer­tainty and ex­po­sure to eco­nomic risk and crises. Data is be­ing cre­ated, used and shared on a vast scale, hold­ing out the prom­ise of ex­pan­sion, growth and im­proved ef­fi­ciency while pos­ing new prob­lems of cy­ber se­cu­rity and pri­vacy pro­tec­tion.

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