What We Wish, We Would Have learnt in School
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The purpose of education is manifold - from imparting knowledge to building character to creating thoughtful individuals. Altogether, these are aimed at helping the individual build a strong career and lead a wholesome life.
Most of us reading this article would have started our education in the 20th century. Sitting at the turn of the century, we were taught in high school broadly the same subjects as kids were in the early 1900s - Maths, Science, Social Studies, Languages; but for us working in today's world, the skills required to succeed at any given job, irrespective of the field, have gone way beyond functional hard skills. Employers are seeking individuals with real-life skills needed to not just survive, but flourish; those who can:
· intelligently Analyse
· effectively Communicate
· fearlessly Innovate
· seamlessly Adapt
These are all the seedings of an ‘Entrepreneurial Mindset'. The definition of Entrepreneurship today is fast moving from simply founding a start-up to a ‘mindset’ that is tuned for success in every sphere and role. Innovation, thinking out-of-the-box and living in a constantly changing environment, is no longer exclusive to an entrepreneur but a need for all jobs and roles.
The World in 2050
Fast forward. The children are our future. Cliched as that is, it’s also disturbing because we are not setting them up for a bright wholesome future. A child starting school in 2019, will graduate by mid-2030s and be engaged in the workforce till 2070.
Should that future professional working till 2070, be taught the same courses as we were in the previous 20th century and study the same subjects that were taught possibly even 100 years ago?
Ceteris paribus, all other things remaining constant, technological advances themselves will make this person obsolete long before 2070.
Even today, most of the information we seek is available on Google; most of the How-To videos are there on Youtube; most of our creative urges are taken care of on Instagram; and professional networking on LinkedIn. Customer care people are being replaced by IVR, bank staff by ATM machines; manufacturing is highly automated replacing masses of workers; water and seeds are being distributed in fields by automated processes instead of farmers; even supermarkets now have automated till counters that don’t argue back and work faster.
How then, will this child embarking upon his educational journey today in 2019, compete-survive-thrive in his professional endeavours post-2035?
The gap is gaping
Education should prepare us for the future. What are we doing to prepare future generations to thrive in this changing landscape?
With the speed at which life is moving, this gap will increase at exponential rates. Society is now churning out masses of students who are told to dream big, aspire for the best but are not ‘fit’ for the corporate or the start-up world. Propagating the current system will lead to a situation of:
· Qualified yet un-skilled youth
· Higher unemployment
· Faster hire & fire
· Depressed & un-happy society
To combat this we need to teach our youth the skills required to succeed in all spheres of life when in 2050. We need to teach our youth to ‘think like an Entrepreneur’.
Teaching an Entrepreneurial Mindset
If we were armed with more knowledge in these spheres, we would have walked out of High School, knowing who we wanted to be and what we wanted to spend our waking hours doing - the clarity, drive & passion that comes from an Entrepreneurial Mindset.
· Who am I? (Self-Discovery)
· Who do I want to be? (Career Choices)
· How to use my brains! (Cognitive Abilities)
· Being a Social Being (Communication Skills, Relationship Building, Team Work, Connected World)
· Doing things differently (Innovation, Creative Thinking, Collaboration)
· Being Human (Emotional Intelligence)
· Building Financial Freedom (Personal Finance Management)
· Simulation (Case Study Learning, Visualisation, Empathy)
· Making a Better World (Technology, Thinking Out-of-the-Box, Harnessing Digital World)
· Reflecting (Me-time, Goal Setting, Life Planning, Change Management)
The need is now. The gap is widening. If we want to nurture Entrepreneurship, we need to align Education to arm us with the right tools. Let’s foster the ‘Spirit of Entrepreneurship’ in our Education System and let its seeds sprout into the lush green valley of prosperity.