Empowering Education: Skills That Need To Be Included In K12 Learning

By introducing the young learners to 21st-century skills, not only can we make them future-ready but also train them to be better citizens and great leaders.

We are at the cusp of the 4th industrial revolution! The future of work is uncertain; automation and robotization are disrupting the future of organizations at rapid speed; the jobs of tomorrow don’t exist yet; the jobs we have today would cease to exist in the next few years. It is high time for us to redefine what we teach our young learners. By introducing them to the 21st-century skills, not only can we make them future-ready but also train them to be better citizens and great leaders.

Here is the list of top skills that must be taught to students at school:

Problem Solving - The world of tomorrow will bring complex challenges - to untangle the complexity, we need to prepare our young learners to use logic, creativity, imagination, lateral thinking and determination. Exposure to solving a complex problem in real-time using innovative and unique methods is one of the most important things to be taught to students. Not only will it make the learners confident but help them pave ways into a successful and happy life.

Time Management - Managing time effectively is a skill that every individual need to learn. The art of time management can help individuals learn to prioritize tasks and schedule them better - this improves their ability to focus. This shall also help students become more efficient and better at decision making.

Communication - A strong communication skill aids in all aspects of life and hence young learners must be trained to be good communicators. A strong communicator has an advantage – he can better lead people, better influence people and better convince people in life - and this will surely prepare today’s young learners to become great leaders of tomorrow.

Critical Thinking – In today’s world, curiosity is more important than intelligence. Young learners who develop the ability to think critically challenge everything that limits their imagination. This turns them into out of the box thinkers. The changing dynamics of the future of work will need young learners of today to be curious, creative, calm and composed to be successful in their lives.

Coding – Steve Jobs made an interesting quip “Everyone should know how to program a computer because it teaches you how to think”. Coding stimulates the thinking ability of young minds and helps them be creative and logical. This basic digital skill will not only prepare young learners for future jobs but will also make them more disciplined and logical.

Relationship Building - Good relationships are the foundation of growth; the idea of developing a healthy relationship with people in and around our community is a must. Relationship building helps us understand the value of trust, helps become active listeners and makes us emphatic. For young learners, it is all the more important – they need to be taught the art of collaboration, co-creation and co-existence. Young learners must be taught the skill of creating loose and strong ties and manage their networks.

Empathy - Empathy is the ability to sense other people’s emotions; it is different than sympathy and, maybe, more important. Being empathic is very crucial in today’s time – it teaches you to reflect and analyze issues at different stages and with different perspectives. In the world created of the millennials and Gen Z, leaders will have to be empathic active listeners and to do so they will have to resonate with the feeling of others.

The world is becoming more challenging, demanding and highly competitive. It shall be important for future generations to arm themselves with more than one skill – this shall make them more resilient and indispensable. However, these hard skills need to be layered with softer cognitive skills for them to excel in their fields and make them stand out in the crowd. The future demands us to be more flexible, adaptive and empathic. It’s a world where only the fittest and the sharpest survive, we must tread carefully and prepare early.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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