3 WAYS TO PREPARE CHILDREN FOR THE JOBS OF THE FUTURE
CNN business reported the World Economic Forum as saying “65% of the children entering primary school in 2017 will have jobs that do not yet exist and for which their education will fail to prepare them”
The future of work is not going to be the same. And I am sure this is not coming to you by surprise. A lot of things are changing right before our own eye. Even when they are exciting changes, they leave a lot of questions unanswered. And these are questions that are vital for our continued relevance and more importantly, that of our children.
The infotech, biotech and mechatronics industries are taking over a lot of things to the extent that the number of employees required to handle some routine activities in offices, industries, and even in the government are continuously replaced by software and technologies.
Let’s look at few examples –
The ATM. That alone has taken over the job of a lot of teller staff in the banking hall.
Railway station tickets have also been automated
It has also been predicted that a lot of jobs will be lost in the aviation industry because check-in will be automated.
How about factories, according to techrepublic.com, a Chinese factory replaces 90% of humans with robots. That is to tell you the extent to which technology can go to take over our jobs.
Education is also not left out, while technology cannot replace the role of teachers, it can reduce the number of teachers that are needed in our classrooms.
So how does this concern you as a parent?
I know, by now, you must have realized the implication of all these monumental changes. Especially for young people.
But let me tell you the bad news.
Our schools from nursery up to the tertiary institution of whatever sort are not preparing the young people for this kind of future. We are still implementing the industrial education model handed over to us in about the 19th century. And this is why you will see that some global enterprising individuals are school drop-outs.
I need to mention that I am not anti-school, just that the time is overdue for us to start doing things differently. The entire globe is shrinking and in the hands of a few enterprising individuals. Yuval Noah Harari, the author of 21 lessons for the 21st century said – “big data algorithms might create a digital dictatorship in which all power is concentrated in the hands of a tiny elite while most people surfer not from exploitation, but from something far worse – irrelevance.”
However, we must realize that it is possible for our kids to have a share of this century’s economic pie, if only we give them the right education. So, the responsibility that we all have now is to change the education model of our children. And I am not talking about the government here because we are tired of that rhetoric and we have no belief that government will do anything about this, at least, not now.
We can’t afford to fold arms and watch the system that is supposed to educate our children to send them to economic slavery.
What should we do
Every parent and family needs to reform the way and manner children are been educated.
- One, we must make demands from private schools to stop the habits of unilateral teaching where teachers are always at the center of learning and the students are obliged to only watch and know. This is the most terrible way to teach in the 21st century. This can change as we don’t need any government or policymaker to change this.
Children should be allowed to explore by giving them the learning control. For instance, while teaching nouns, a teacher should not just start singing the definition of noun and eventually make a student write the definition rather, students should be taken out to look around them and write down what they see (observation) and now tell them the meaning of a noun. This will make them more creative as they will be interested in knowing things around them and that is the beginning of the journey.
- Create the opportunity for children to develop skills at an early age. This is not to make them have skill in only one area, it is designed to make them take some personal responsibilities and increase the exploratory capacity. Do not limit them to one skill, expose them to as many as possible – agriculture, ICT, art and design, construction, etc.
- Dedicate a few years in their education journey to horn a particular skill. Here, if you take point 2 seriously, you will be able to identify their area of interest and capitalize on it. At this point, they should be able to take their skills to the market and enjoy the experience of engaging in enterprising activities.