Nowadays, education is recognized as an essential aspect of society’s development, as a fundamental human right, and in some cases, a source of self-esteem. Large budgets, funds, and grants are invested every year in education. Nevertheless, literacy rates in the world’s remotest communities are decreasing every year. Furthermore, as a result of apparent differences in global education systems, the gap in illiteracy becomes consequentially larger and more noticeable.
As the world strives towards the 2030 agenda, and most countries are awakened to the realities of illiteracy, I agree that the global education system needs to be more intentional when it comes to preparing students for the growing demands of the looming job market. The theories are good for debate, but the skills are what will mold our words into tangible and impactful action, required to address today’s challenges. One could argue that sometimes students are not prepared for the opportunities before them, but from my experience, there are often limited opportunities for those without relevant or sought-after skills. Thus, we need to collectively rethink and re-evaluate the future of education.
For example, in 2010 a world-renowned education and innovation expert, Sir Ken Robinson released a short, animated film entitled, “Changing Education Paradigms” where he argues that our current education system stifles and anesthetizes creativity and lowers the capacity for divergent thinking. Unfortunately, for most people, the current education system does not align with 21st-century student needs or the rapid changes we see in the economy or society from a global level.
Time for change
Thus, in my opinion, perhaps we, as global citizens could agree on a dire need to overhaul the system and adjust the curricula in order to align the systems to a hastily dynamic job marketplace. Elements of design thinking, innovation, and self-discovery are now more vital than ever because they strive to address the needs of target audiences and close the gaps between the mere possession of knowledge and the actual usage of said knowledge.