Nobody is too old to learn. It’s a fact even if many people feel that age is a hindrance to going back to school and getting an education or pursuing post-grad courses. But the truth is, some could not even put their children to school in high school or community colleges because of financial constraints. Of course, it is a given that their basic needs must be met first before they can pursue their intellectual endeavors or join important think tanks. Meanwhile, there are those who can afford to study abroad because they believe that it boosts their credential and helps them land better and higher-paying jobs someday. All these factors are constants in our modern education system. There are much more actually and the government should look into them in order to create policies that address most of these problems and help lighten the burden poorer families experience day in and day out.
The educational sector needs to consider that practical application is what is most important now and that employers look at that first from job applicants although we do no discredit the value of their academic achievements too. Looking for work is especially harder now as many industries already automate most of their processes and applicants are expected to miss out on even more job opportunities as roughly 7 million more jobs will be automated in the coming years. It is also perhaps the reason why those who can afford to study abroad don’t hesitate in doing so because they know they’ll learn more from prestigious institutions in other countries in terms of knowledge, skills, and experiences local students miss out on and be the first to get hired when job vacancies open up.
Employers value transferable skills in the workforce, more than strictly technical ones. In fact, ACT’s 2016 National Curriculum Survey showed among employer responses that the most valued skills were things like “acting honestly,” by treating others fairly, “sustaining effort,” and “keeping an open mind,” intermixed with other skills like complex problem solving, critical thinking, and creativity. With the global workforce already losing around 7 million jobs over the next five decades to automation, according to a recent study, it’s important that students graduate from higher education institutions not being automatons themselves.
IIE’s study drawing the link between study abroad experiences — which build students’ abilities to work with others, meet new people, and think outside the box — and improved employability only highlights the importance of higher education leaders emphasizing learning in an academic sense, but also building of the actual student on a more personal level.
Not everyone enjoys the same opportunities and in a way, it affects whether they become successful later in life. While some students are actually deserving of landing certain jobs or even getting promoted, they miss out on these chances because others have a finer resume than theirs, attended better schools, or have a longer list of skills and trainings/seminars making them more competitive and qualified for the job since they have the money to burn unlike those who have no choice but to attend public schools.
The introduction of technology into education was not a silver bullet for improving education outcomes and the 19th-century style of teaching and learning needs to be adapted as technology is gradually incorporated into South African classrooms.
This was the message coming out of the Decolonised 21st Century Education Conference in Johannesburg on Friday.
Panelists said technology needed to be coupled with an adapted curriculum, political will and trained teachers to facilitate learning that solved local problems.
It is imperative for educators to integrate as much technology as needed into the curriculum and day-to-day lessons of students because we already live in a highly digital world. It’s no longer a luxury since we are only making sure students are equipped with everything they will ever need for the future that awaits them. They must be able to navigate their way through all these digital mazes that are quickly gaining traction in the world. It’s also all the more reason for the government to increase federal funding on education because the future of our nation is a stake here. Whatever the personal opinions of the leaders in power right now are on the case are irrelevant and they should think first about the welfare of the country and the people who will soon run it in the years to come.