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Skill-based education must for holistic development

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The education system and teaching methodology should be modified and changed into skill-based learning, so that the students of today, can smartly overcome the challenges of the 21st century and occupy a strong position in their workplace

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We often say that today's students are tomorrow's future. But we do not think about how today's students can become the bright future who may add a distinctive value for the upcoming generation. We also do not research on which education can make our children skilled and worthy citizens of the country. In the majority of schools and classrooms, it is observed that the students are mainly being assessed on lower-level thinking skills such as memorization and recall.

The multiple-choice, short-answer and matching questions, along with the academic assignments, are majorly dependent on the main modes of assessment or prescribed methods which are running years after years. Many education commissions are formed to upgrade the education system of the country, but they cannot come out with the so-called systems of teaching and learning in classrooms.

Yes, some initiatives have been taken by some of the educationists of our country like creative questions, higher ability testing, communicative English learning, but it's the fact that the certain no standard modules are patterned which the teachers may follow or standardize their teaching in the classrooms. I think the education system and teaching methodology should be modified and changed into skill-based learning, so that the students of today, can smartly overcome the challenges of the 21st century and occupy a strong position in their workplace.

In the education system, if we cannot emphasize skill-based teaching today's students will have to face various challenges in the 21st century. The researchers foresee the following challenges if we do not be careful of our teaching systems; the challenges are;  #Threats to the employment from automation, #The deficiency of manpower, #Shortage of adaptability quality of the educated but not skilled, #Lessening the collaborative thinking, #Worsening the reality of learning, #Dulling the critical thinking and problem-solving qualities, #Degrading the communication skills, #Weakening the management level of thinking, #Exhaustion of finite national resources #Decay of moral and ethical issues associated with digital technology (e.g. data privacy, surveillance culture) and biotechnology, #Slow motion in upgrading education in all sectors, #Threat to the abnormal growth of inefficient population.

Therefore, if we are not aware of how to prepare our students with proper skill and technology, we cannot tackle the challenges, rather it will create an inevitable disaster in the country in future. We need to focus on areas beyond simple content accumulation in the respective subjects of the classes. In a future of unprecedented societal shifts, education is crucial to managing the challenges ahead. The following skills are to be attained for tackling future challenges:

Creativity and Innovation Skills

We know that the global marketplace is more competitive than ever. Innovative products and creative thoughts thrive on an organization's ability to design and present them in aesthetically pleasing ways. Creative thinking and application grab consumers' attention and secures their loyalty. Ultimately, creativity is a common language we can all learn to communicate our passions and ideas with. So, creativity and innovation are just valuable learning pursuits. It's a vital tool to success in school and in the workplace. For this reason, Creativity Fluency is used in thousands of schools all over the world.

Adaptability Skills

The world is always appearing with a lot of changes in this digital age at exponential rates. By the time employees learn the newest software or program, a better version is coming about. Future employers will need to continuously adapt to changing conditions as well as be able to learn new things quickly and efficiently. We need our students to learn how to learn. We deal with trends of every kind constantly. Business, technology, entertainment, communication, and lifestyle trends are just some of the many.

What makes it more challenging is that each major trend can often have several sub-trends of its own. Keeping abreast of these means staying informed and knowing when to take advantage of opportunities. As for life itself, it will always have challenges, no matter how well things are going. Being able to adapt to change in all its forms keeps us constantly prepared to survive and succeed no matter what climate we're in.

Communication Skills

In the present world, communication has transformed beyond face-to-face interaction. We communicate using technology more than ever. We have access to a wide variety of new ways to communicate from video-conferencing to social media. In school, we work in groups to produce solutions to the challenges and problems we face. Interestingly, we do the exact same thing in the workplace.

The only way this can be done effectively is with good communication. Having communication skills means less stress, more productivity, and better relationships. Future employers need to be able to communicate with people within their team, as well as people outside of the team and organization.

Collaboration Skills

Working in groups is a hallmark of the digital age. Our classrooms and businesses incorporate teamwork into their daily practices and also foster a culture of competition and independence rather than one of teamwork and collaboration.  As such, collaborative abilities have a permanent place among the most beneficial lifelong learning skills all students should develop. Future employers will need to quickly adapt to a culture of collaboration. They will need to collaborate with others within and outside of the organization, often using a number of new technologies.

This means being able to work in groups that are both physical and virtual. It includes proficiency in communication, empathy, and leadership values. It also means being able to work with someone across the world as easily and productively as someone across the room. This is why Collaboration skill is one of the Essential Skills being taught in classrooms all over the world.

Leadership Skills

Leaders are an asset in any classroom and in every workforce. Anyone whose attitude moves from “I can do it” to “we can do it” makes everybody better. It's their independence and willingness to take responsibility for making good things happen, not just simply getting things done. That's why leaders see more, do more, and learn more.

Understanding leadership is one of those beneficial lifelong learning skills that can change people's lives. After all, one who leads isn't just one who manages things. What a leader does is inspire, motivate, and empower. True leaders see the best in people and teach them to harness their potential in all they do.

Problem Solving Skills

The world is changing and will continue changing dramatically. As such our children will be solving future problems that we can't even imagine yet. They'll face challenges that require skills to define a problem, design an appropriate solution, and put it to effective use.

Problem-solving skills help them tackle anything from writing a shopping list to designing and realizing their biggest dreams. As far as beneficial lifelong learning skills go, this one is probably the most important. Solving real-world problems with a process like Solution Fluency is crucial to surviving and thriving in the present and future.

Critical Thinking Skills

The way we think about the world, ourselves and each other affects more than just personal experience. It has a part in defining the future of everything and everyone and the entire world—this is the “Ripple Effect.” It's been a part of many cultural philosophies for thousands of years, reminding us that how we choose to think and act influences our whole world. We don't have to be overwhelmed by it, just simply aware of it as it guides our critical thinking practices.

There is a decreased emphasis on employers following directions and an increased emphasis on employers thinking critically and solving problems. In a rapidly changing world, employers need employees who can solve problems, provide ideas and help improve the organization. The ability to think critically is a must for future success in a changing world. It's about thinking independently, responsibly, and productively. In fact, one of the best definitions of critical thinking can be found on the Critical Thinking Web. The latest term is used in thinking skills as ‘Internet of Thinking' (IoT).

Information Management Skills

Dealing with information means we can determine what is valuable and discard what is spurious or questionable. This is important for producing solutions and products that are genuine and useful. It's also an aspect of research and proper attribution of sources, things every good digital citizen needs to know. Information is essentially all things on the Internet, and it's alive and growing.

Personal Management Skills

Personal management is one of the basic skills to overcome future challenges. This includes the ability for employers to independently plan, organize, create and execute, rather than wait for someone to do this for them.

Curiosity and Inquiry Skills

Without curiosity and inquiry skills there is no learning effectively. Lifelong learning is driven by curiosity. Outside the rigours of school, there is no educator or peer to motivate us to learn and expand our minds. Developing curiosity is undoubtedly one of the most beneficial lifelong learning skills you can have. Nurturing curiosity can lead to moments where a learner says, “wow, I never expected that in school.”

This is exactly the kind of reaction that indicates kids actually can fall in love with learning. As such, they're the kinds of moments teachers strive to create. In the same way, the large majority of academic assessments ask students for answers. Rarely do we assess students on how well they can ask questions. The ability to ask great questions, however, is a critical skill that is desperately needed in a culture that requires constant innovations.

Technology Skills

In the digital age, almost every business employer demands to be skilled at using technology. In the digital age, technology is everywhere. Schools, however, have been slow to adapt to this change. Rarely are students required or taught to learn technology efficiently. This needs to be emphasized.

Soft Skills

The skills which create additional values for any individual student. Schools rarely spend time teaching students soft skills, including skills such as time management skills, organizational skills, the ability to look someone in the eyes when talking to them, or using a firm handshake. Most business leaders need this skill in their business places.

Reflection Skill

This is also an important skill that our teachers should teach the students in the classrooms. As we learn, we acquire new skills and knowledge for various uses. However, none of that knowledge is any good if we don't consider how it has helped us or others. If we are going to place our attention on learning something we must consider the merits of learning it before, during, and after the learning happens. Otherwise, we have engaged in empty learning for no reason. In any kind of learning, asking reflective questions always matters.

Empathy and Perspective Skills

This skill is always important for every student as a human being. The teachers should teach their students the ability to put themselves in someone else's shoes, to understand their feelings, and to help solve their problems. Keeping always a kind attitude to the others of their mates irrespective of all senior and junior individuals.

Therefore, we may ascertain that the above-mentioned skills are the foremost essential skills in the modern education world to overcome future challenges. These skills in fact are the lifelong learning skills that pay to develop the students constantly. Such skills transform our future for the better because they come from what is best in us.

In short, mastering beneficial lifelong learning skills helps us work, learn, and live better. If we desire to establish a golden life for the future generation with quality service to the nation, we have to build up our students with necessary skills that will make their life easier, more comfortable and updated with modern life equipment for the nation. Teachers are the only mentors who can do this sacred responsibility for the generation ahead.

The author is a principal at , Dhaka – Bangladesh. Views are personal.

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Md Mahmudul Hassan
Md Mahmudul Hassan
Prof. Dr Md Mahmudul Hassan is Principal of Daffodil International School, Dhaka, Bangladesh
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