Change is the only constant
How to stay relevant in an ever-changing world is a question that is, well, relevant to everyone from the traditional brick and mortar industry to education sector. Every sphere of life is experiencing a paradigm shift in terms of thinking, best practices and relevance. Concepts, ideas, products, and technology become obsolete even before they have had a fair run.
Schools have a great responsibility of nurturing students to survive in an ever changing world.
The answers to how to stay relevant lie equally in the past, in the present and in the future. The past allows us to see patterns in the form of recorded history, the present offers us a chance to be ready to prepare ourselves to face the uncertainties of the future.
As Aristotle, the great Greek philosopher said, ‘Well begun is half done.’ We have many a example in the animal world of ready adaptability to changed conditions. In fact, we humans owe our very existence to our ability to adapt to our surroundings.
Work force for the 21st century
Students face a bigger challenge than ever before to be able to fit into the future scheme of things. Schools have a much greater responsibility: first, they have to retain their own relevancy in the face of challenges posed by online education and distance learning programs; second, they have a responsibility to prepare the students for the future well.
While it is almost impossible to predict the future trends, there are basic skills which will retain their relevance at all times and schools would do well to concentrate on these skills.
To be able to work as a part of a team is considered a great asset in a real world scenario. Teamwork promotes sharing of ideas and showcases your attitude towards work and colleagues, and is regarded as a reliable indicator of your personality. Schools must lay great emphasis on the concept of teamwork which will help the students to handle pressures better in the real world.
It is not enough to be knowledgeable about a subject but one should also have the ability to convince others. Your success depends on how clearly and effectively you can communicate your ideas. A debating society, regular seminars, workshops on oral and written communication. Public-speaking is ranked as one of the top fears of majority of the population. Mastering this very useful art equips your students to face the world confidently.
Learning life skills dramatically increases a student’s chance of success in the future. UNICEF defines ‘Life skills as psychosocial abilities for adaptive and positive behaviour that enable individuals to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life.’ Right moral education will help the students to set the right priorities in life.
Your focus should be firmly on the future when you design your curriculum. Incorporate learning of foreign languages for increased opportunities. Promote innovation and decision-making abilities in your students. The ability to apply knowledge for right things is more important than the gaining of knowledge itself.
Preparing them for failure:
Teaching them to cope with failure is perhaps more important than preparing them for success. One learns more from one’s failures than success. We will conclude by quoting Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, who has some perfect wisdom on how to deal with success and failure.
‘It's fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.’