The 21st Century Ed Crisis

The world is changing at a fast rate. For instance, Cape Town almost ran out of water completely earlier in 2018 and had to adapt to different methods to deal with it. By 2030, as many as 800 million jobs could be lost worldwide as artificial intelligence, robotics, automation, and other technologies replace the need for human workers (McKinsey ’18). 65% of children entering primary school today will end up in completely different jobs that don’t yet exist (World Economic Forum ’16).

Whether it is the Environment sphere, or Technology sphere or Well-Being sphere, all spheres are undergoing tremendous change at a fast pace. The only certainty in the coming world is the uncertainty it will be defined by! The future generation will need to align its skillset to cope up with & adapt to this change, initiate action & drive it to live successfully in this world for the good of all. So that begs the question. 


What kind of skills and mindsets does the future generation need as the world enters this new era of uncertain rules and constant change?

Experts summarise that the skills of empathy, cognitive flexibility, collaboration, creativity, etc., often referred to as 21st century skills, and a mindset to initiate action to solve problems, will be the top skills/mindset needed to deal and adapt to uncertainty.

Top 10 skills to live successfully by World Economic Forum


But are we ready to cope with this change?

Clearly, no! Most education systems worldwide provide highly siloed training and continue a number of 20th century practices that are hindering the progress of today’s talent. A narrow focus on technical skills of mathematics or computers or commerce leaves the students unprepared to deal with the complexities of the rapidly changing world. For instance, 75% of Indian youth entering the workforce every year are unemployable (India Skills Report ’15). 94% of Indian engineers are not fit for hiring (Source – Economic Times). There is an urgent need to incorporate these skills in today’s education system and curricula. What’s needed in schools are classes that closely resemble the modern day workplace (one where people move between different roles and projects), helping them acquire the 21st century skills for them to be able to cope with any change that comes. This is the only way to equip our students with the new-age skills of the 21st century essential for their success.