How to educate students for jobs of the future
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How to educate students for jobs of the future

How to educate students for jobs of the future

A fundamental shift in the tools of teaching are required to prepare students for the jobs of tomorrow

Geoffrey Alphonso is CEO of Alef Education

The world of work will look very different in the near future. According to a report released by the World Economic Forum, professions like administrative and executive secretaries, data entry clerks, or accounting, bookkeeping and payroll staff will become obsolete in the UAE by 2025.

Instead, the top emerging roles in the next few years would be data analysts and scientists, digital marketing and strategy specialists, as well as AI and machine learning experts. Even more telling, research by Dell Technologies and Institute for the Future suggests that 85 per cent of jobs that will exist in 2030 haven’t been invented yet.

Over the last decade, the Fourth Industrial Revolution has gained ground. We’re witnessing an accelerated adoption of advanced technologies and will unlock job opportunities in fields like AI, robotics, virtual reality, augmented reality, and big data. Hence, preparing a future-ready workforce requires a revolutionary approach to education.

Traditionally, schools tend to be teacher-centric in their approach, wherein learning is driven by the teacher delivering the lessons and instructions. This relies heavily on the knowledge of the individual teacher and their method or style of teaching and is essentially just imparting knowledge based on structured curriculum outcomes.

A more contemporary approach, one that has increasingly seen adoption, is the student-centric model where students are active participants in the learning process. In this approach, teachers still impart knowledge, but more as a mentor or coach. Technology is a key ingredient in this learning dynamic, integrating learning management systems or gamification into the process. While both models can deliver some success, preparing and empowering the next generation of the 21st-century workforce requires a step-change. To realise the full potential of today’s learners, there needs to be a paradigm shift in the pedagogical approach to learning.
Moving beyond a one-size-fits-all framework, we need to consider the individual learning styles of the students. And this is where personalised learning that is powered by advanced technologies like AI and machine learning can help.

The Covid crisis underscored the importance of embracing technology in education. As we look at a post-pandemic world, more schools are likely to adopt hybrid learning or distance education. We need to consider ways to deliver learning experiences that are fit for the digital environment and enable schools and teachers to keep students engaged and fully immersed in their lessons.

Educators bear the responsibility of nurturing a generation of digital natives who will grow up to work in fields that we still consider nascent today. This is a responsibility we cannot take lightly, and therefore, how we educate our students needs to change, and it needs to change today.

Geoffrey Alphonso is CEO of Alef Education

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