The future is uncertain, now more than ever. The increasing competition, the growing demands from institutions and the complexity of choices; that’s just the beginning. Not to mention, the pandemic has evidently amplified the ambiguity and stress associated with making decisions for the future. Among several other causes, the lack of exposure to the working world and lack of opportunities to develop soft skills inhibits individuals of today’s generation from realising their true potential.
The scope of the conventional education system is largely guarded by the boundaries of exploration into ideas that have little relevance for people in the real world, at least for those that don’t pursue the subject or career. This approach is built upon the importance of hard skills, which are the abilities required for a specific job. Although these are extremely important, excessive priority to these often comes at the cost of overall skill development, which can be applied in all contexts and professions.
Ideally, schools and universities should place a greater emphasis on the preparation for the real world through the development of soft skills. But, the reality is far behind. Take for instance, rote learning. Firstly, the fact that practices such as rote learning are still prevalent today speaks volumes about the nature of preparation we are providing for the future change makers of our world. The whole flaw in memorization is that pre-existing knowledge is learnt for the purpose of reproducing it, most likely in an exam context. As a result, students are unable to think critically on their own. Furthermore, rote learning prevents students from seeing the application of their learning in practice. For this reason, when the concept presents itself in the real world, they are unable to apply what they have learnt to fit the context.
Fundamentally, in conventional education, the focus on short-term preparation outweighs the long-term gains from investing in soft skills. This education model breeds a generation of graduates who are unable to think innovatively. It creates followers, not leaders.
But, you might be wondering why this holds any significance when it comes to the future. The role of education is to nurture a growth mindset and a flexible and driven individual. This is directly correlated to prospects at university as well as employability in life. The uncertainty presented by the complexity of future decisions can be combated by only one means, investment in oneself through education.
In order to build a generation of leaders and learners, there needs to be a systemic change which adopts a two-way focus. Firstly, the provision of real-world learning opportunities to students who already have access to education. This could be through internships and work experience, but also through skill-building activities and interactions with industry professionals. Secondly, focussing on young people who are unable to afford educational services and provide them with opportunities for personal and professional development. The aim is to create an ethos wherein young people are building skills whilst making memories and engaging in meaningful experiences. After all, years in education are among the most precious in one’s whole life.
However, to reform the education system requires more than a mere article. It requires effort and dedication, continuously. It has to be a choice that you make, every day. You can take your first step by attending the OWN Future Fair organised by OWN Academy. We are an organization striving for educational opportunities for young people to develop soft skills and prepare them for the real world. At this online event, you will have the opportunity to interact with professionals from over 15 industries and like-minded individuals from over 50 countries. This is your chance to take ownership of your future and reduce the uncertainty associated with decision-making in the future. Explore the OWN Academy website for more details and register for FREE by signing up with the referral code before May 14th: Amb_SaanchiShah.
By participating in OWN Future Fair, not only are you opening yourself up to a plethora of enriching learning experiences but also a community of changemakers. So, be sure to register and take a step in the right direction.