Singapore celebrates her 55th birthday in a little less than a week’s time. Looking back at the past 55 years, many aspects of Singapore have changed drastically and amazingly as we progressed from a third world country to a first world country. The world has seen more social and technological changes in the past two decades than in previous centuries combined. Looking forward, many things will continue to change, especially so with the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.
How will the world continue to change? How can we prepare ourselves for it?
The world that we currently live in is often referred to as a Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous (VUCA) world. Changes happen in the world rapidly and constantly, resulting in volatility in many areas. Things are often unpredictable and uncertain. There are many complexities in life and factors to consider for every decision we make, and these decisions have to be made all the time amidst great ambiguity. These factors contribute to a fundamental change in how work and skills are viewed now.
In 2018, the World Economic Forum (WEF) published the Future of Jobs 2018 report, where they highlighted several important points regarding how work will change in the near future:
Many jobs will become obsolete soon; many future jobs are not yet created.
We are currently in the midst of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, characterised by increasing global connectivity, rapid technology advances and widespread adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in many industries. The COVID-19 pandemic has only accelerated these technological advancements as people all over the world adopt new technologies and work remotely from home. The workplace has changed irreversibly, and will only continue to change.
In the WEF report, jobs that are expected to become increasingly redundant and obsolete due to technological advances and process automation are routine-based, middle-skilled white-collared jobs, such as data entry clerks, auditors and secretaries, as presented in the table below.
The rise of workplace automation vastly improves productivity and fundamentally alters the work of human employees. It removes the burden of repetitive administrative work and enables employees to focus on value-added tasks. Cognitive abilities and tasks that were usually reserved for humans are now being increasingly carried out by machines. More and more jobs will be created that requires employees to have specific skill-sets. Hence, it is important that our children develop those skills that will enable them to take on those value-added tasks in the future workplace, for jobs that might not even exist now.
Ten skills our children need to develop to thrive in future.
What are some of the skills that our children need to have in order to be ready for the future workplace?
Our children will need to develop the following skills by the time they enter the workforce:
1. Complex problem solving skills
2. Critical thinking skills
4. People management skills
5. Collaborative skills
6. Emotional intelligence
7. Judgement and decision making
8. Service orientation
10. Cognitive flexibility
These future skills cannot be acquired and developed via traditional education where students learn via rote learning and cram practice questions. It is vital that education systems move along with times and start preparing our children for the future world.
At TLCS, we not only prepare our students for academic excellence, we also strive to develop in them some of these future skills in our curriculum.
Our English Curriculum aims to build a strong foundation in our students so that they are able to communicate confidently and effectively in future. Communication is a pre-requisite skill in order to develop strong people management, collaborative and negotiation skills.
Our Mathematics Curriculum aims to provide many opportunities for our students to think critically, problem solve and analyse information. These are skills that can be honed by continual exposure to contextual problems.
We also pride ourselves in moulding students to become virtuous individuals that contribute positively back to society. Our students are encouraged to join us in the planning and execution of our social programmes and serve the beneficiaries together. This will enable them to hone their people management, collaborative and decision making skills. Our students will also be able to develop their emotional intelligence and service orientation.
The world is changing rapidly. What are we doing to future proof our children’s lives?