November 5, 2019 5:35:51 pm
By Dr Minu Madlani
The world is entering its fourth industrial revolution at an accelerating speed. There is a higher probability that children today have heard about technology before alphabets and numbers. A new age career, gig economy, remote working and the need to be relevant amongst dynamic changes is becoming a burning question for organisations. Though big companies and conglomerates are doing their best to upskill their workforce, a downsizing is inevitable if the existing skill set doesn’t match the needs of the business. Thus, corporate leaders are not the only ones that should be worried about the changing global scenario, parents and educators should be too.
In times like these, it is important that training for future challenges start at the grassroot level. Parents are responsible for building the foundational blocks for a child’s future. It is through their eyes that the child is capable of seeing the outside world, and hence it is pertinent that they send their ward to an institution that implements the newest methods of learning and development in their curriculum.
What is the fourth industrial revolution?
If you have heard of terms like digital disruption, internet of things, machine learning, automation and virtual reality, you are on the brink of familiarising yourself with the fourth industrial revolution. However, just hearing these terms is not enough. To be on top of your game, a detailed knowledge in the use and abuse of these concepts is important for a student’s holistic development.
Educational institutions and parents have to work with the lesson that a child who is their student today is going to be out there in the real world a few years from now. Considering the rate at which the world is innovating and re-innovating, there is a big question if knowledge imparted today will be relevant tomorrow.
Though the education system is largely dependent on the book and pencil system of learning – which no matter what the new world order, is an integral part of a child’s development – there is a need to re-define the definition of ‘education’ and for educators and parents to understand the same. Thus, parents and educators together need to prepare their child for the industry of tomorrow.
The new education
Currently, the education system is wired in a way that teaches students to do specific tasks. For example, there is an arts stream that teaches you about psychology and philosophy; commerce teaches you organisation and science teaches you scientific concepts. However, in the new education there is a need to teach a child to do ‘anything’. Hence, a skill set that a child needs to be embedded with has to enable him/her to do anything that the world expects it to do.
Need for holistic education
Without undermining a child’s capability or interests, in the formative years a child should be provided with an overall exposure to all facets of learning instead of restricting them to a box. A holistic education in science, tech, engineering and math (STEM) helps a child understand the importance of technology and the methods to use it judiciously.
Encourage the human sentiment
The top skills according to the World Economic Forum in this era of digital disruption are going to be, critical and analytical thinking, problem solving, and creativity. To aid this, it is important that these qualities in children are nurtured and they are taught how to co-exist and work with technology symbiotically.
Push for continuous learning
A famous author was quoted saying that the illiterate of the 21st century are not the ones who cannot read and write but the ones who cannot learn and unlearn. This statement holds very true in the current system where there is a constant need to learn new concepts and unlearn archaic notions.
Though not an exhaustive list, these are some ways in which parents and educators together can work on a comprehensive plan to prepare today’s children for the workforce of tomorrow. An open-minded approach towards new ideas and encouraging new methods of learning can go a long way in training a child to combat challenges that a rapidly changing world throws at it.
(The writer is Principal, KPB Hinduja College.)
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.