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Should Education Be Oriented Around 21st Century Skills?

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Should Education Be Oriented Around 21st Century Skills?

The modern education system fails to meet the needs of people in many ways. It’s not uncommon for a person to be educated from one of the top universities in the world and still not know how to operate a software required for a job or speak a language that’s required as part of an occupation. All these factors limit a person’s employability, and he/she cannot avail the opportunities that come in the way.

The fundamental reason why people attain education is to be able to make a living. They hope that once they graduate, they’ll be hired by the top companies in the field operating in the market. But the fact of the matter is that the modern education system has failed to keep pace with the demands of the changing times. The present work environment is integrally oriented around technological abilities, whereas most of the education curriculum, particularly at lower academic levels, is still theory based.

Drawbacks of the Existing Educational Format

The present educational system is flawed because of the lack of sufficient exposure of students to the practical environment. Most of the education takes place in a closed classroom environment wherein the maximum that an institution can achieve is called a guest speaker or show the students documentaries. None of this is a substitute for practical exposure gained in the field.

Most of the exams and evaluation mechanisms are theory based. To perform well in them, a student has to cram up the text. While this polishes one’s cramming ability, the information stored in mind this way lasts only as long as the exam itself. That’s why so many students need help from essay writer. When students are exposed to practical field situations and are required to make decisions considering the challenges and problems at hand, they cannot manage to make rational choices. While learning theory is important, it’s even more important to know how to apply it.

Another big flaw in the current system of education is its backwardness compared to the technological advancement and fast pace of research and development in the present age.  The curriculum, practical work, and laboratory work taught in most schools today is the same that was taught to the students two decades ago. On the other hand, the world has witnessed a revolutionary change concerning technological growth and level of sophistication.

How to Best Revive the Current Education System

All these factors impact a need for the academicians to revisit the prevailing trends and assess the changing needs of times. The curriculum requires increased integration of the latest technology both as the medium of learning and as the content of the program. Students should have uninterrupted access to advanced technology at schools along with expert guidance and coach on its use. It’s advisable to make studying computer languages compulsory on students, and they should be made part of the curriculum from a much lower academic level.

Should Education Be Oriented Around 21st Century Skills?

Students can opt to keep studying them in more depth at higher levels, but they’ll anyway get sufficient knowledge when they’ve studied the basics in middle school and high school. Studying computers derives its importance from the fact that every field ranging from medicine to engineering and economics is computerized. Education cannot be complete unless a student knows computers well. Ideally, all students should be prepared for basic fixing of issues with computers.

Moreover, there should be an increased emphasis on the learning of a variety of languages. The world is becoming increasingly multicultural with every passing day. While many opportunities surface with such fast-paced globalization process, people’s ability to utilize them is impaired because of their lack of knowledge of languages.

Education System Should Be Focused on Developing These Skills

While talking about the redesigning of the education system, it is important to review the skills that the course content should be oriented around. The skills of the 21st century are based on tools that can be used globally to advance learning, patterns of thinking, operating, and generally living anywhere in the world. Such skills include but are not limited to creative thinking, reasoning or critical analysis skills, metacognition, problem-solving, global citizenship, communication, and collaboration.

Should Education Be Oriented Around 21st Century Skills?

In addition to these skills, 21st-century skills comprise numeracy, writing literacy, reading, and comprehension, digital literacy and information and communication technology. The course content should be revised so that it has increased focus and emphasis on these skills. It’s equally important to utilize technology to pass instruction and make technology a fundamental element of every academic level.

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IW2 Research Team
A group of researchers at IndianWeb2.com including the Editor.

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