Students being prepared for careers that don’t exist today

Dubai - 'Future requires very specific skill sets that link to areas such as financial literacy, critical thinking'

By Nandini Sircar

Published: Sat 19 Dec 2020, 10:29 AM

Preparing students for careers that don’t exist is one of the prime challenges for educationists today.

Huma Ramadan, assistant manager of school relations, Expo School Programme, said that 65 per cent of primary school children will be working in jobs that don’t even exist today. She was speaking at the pre-Expo ‘Knowledge and Learning Week’.

Ramadan explained how to prepare children for careers of the future. “The future requires very specific skill sets that link to areas such as financial literacy, critical thinking becoming even more important, adaptability as well as social and cultural awareness. These are skills that support students in an ever-changing world.”

Careers of the future

Rethinking education strategies and explaining how knowledge can propel a global community to innovate for a better future, she added: “In today’s world, every student who wishes to be a doctor can have an achievable goal of using technology in surgeries — working alongside a robot inside an operation theatre. Engineers of the future may use 3D technology to build their buildings. Mechanical engineers may create autonomous vehicles of the future not just standard cars. The ultimate goal of the Expo school programme is about showing them what the future holds and what one can actually achieve. They all emphasise the importance of interconnectedness.”

At the Expo School Pavilion, children will understand the thematic pavilions and each district that would help children prepare for future careers, said Ramadan. “For example, students will also get a sneak-peek into how real-time movement of global trade happens and its impact, inspiring changes in future careers. Our Foundational Literacies should look at how students apply skills to everyday tasks and overcome challenges.”

Bridging skill gaps crucial

Emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and blockchain will be seminal for promoting economic growth, said Xavier Anglada, managing director for strategy and consulting – Accenture ME. “Many Arab countries have already launched such digital initiatives to promote the use of technology in every sphere. But the growth prospect of intelligent technologies can only be realised if the skill gap is closed. Therefore, roles need to be reconfigured and our approach to learning needs to change. To prepare workers to thrive we need skills of the future, not the past.”

He added that adapting to this new world will require organisations to create completely new roles, many of which do not exist today. “This new technology offers an opportunity for leaders throughout the Arab world to diversify their economy, push economic growth and create jobs. As roles and tasks change new skills will increase in importance.”

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