The Education System of the entire world – the way education is delivered to students is at the cusp of a dimensional shift. The way curriculum was transacted up until now has been disrupted by the pandemic and we can ensure it is for the better.
Schools across the world were stuck to their archaic content, being delivered in even more outdated ways. Schools had 21st-century citizens, being taught by 20th-century educators in 19th-century learning spaces. The Education system was conceived in the 19th century for a time when people needed to be trained to go into farms or factories. A human was needed to be a peg in an assembly line and that’s what the education system prepared the children for at that time.
With automation, technology, and now Industrial Revolution 4.0 we don’t need humans to be second-class robots, but instead become first-class humans!
What are the traits that are inherent to humans which no technology can replace, or do a better job of, and what is the role of the educator in such times? Is it just of being an information or content delivery boy? No, the role of the educator today has moved to that of being a coach, a mentor, and a facilitator of learning. Technology can easily deliver content, but it is only a human teacher that can inspire, encourage and spark the imagination, inquiry, and curiosity in a child.
We can ill afford another education system that tests students in and prepares students for skills that they won’t even require in their 21st-century lives. This is a time of transition where the trends are still forming and evolving, and it is incumbent upon us, especially the education thought leaders and influencers, to shoulder this responsibility – to steer this evolution of education in the direction which will truly benefit our 21st-century students the most. Our posterity will look back at this time as one of those defining moments that come once in centuries – and either thanks us for the direction in which we took this evolution of education or curse us for not rising to the occasion when we had the opportunity!
This is the first time in the history of mankind that you have schools from across the world – it doesn’t matter whether you’re a school in Montreal, Madrid, Mumbai, or Melbourne – we’re all confronting and trying to solve the same problems.
My appeal to educators and parents is that rather than trying to pin down life into pigeon holes of certainties we should learn to embrace uncertainty. That is where the beauty of life lies. All the plans, all of us educators had previously made were washed away by the COVID crisis. This is a time to truly espouse and imbibe in our children those 21st-century skills we once sagaciously foretold on the ramparts of the world’s biggest education conclaves. What are those skills? The ability to cope with limited resources, the ability to be agile, adaptable, flexible, and resilient. To build the skills of crisis management, self-reliance, and independence making our children critical thinkers, problem solvers.
Every challenge is an opportunity; but only if you make use of it!
We need to get rid of the myopic outlook where we believe we are in a tragedy or that the year 2020 is a catastrophe. Yes, there is adversity, but adversity can elicit talents that lay dormant within us during prosperous times.
Never waste a good crisis, because a crisis forces us to grow and the time has come to wake us up from the slumber of rudimentary pedagogy.