How Technology Impact the World Today

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"Within the next 15 years (by 2030), about 225 million of the global workforce may need to switch jobs. Another average 600 million could be displaced by automation and have to find new jobs."

Source: McKinsey Global Institute

The above statistics are a reflection of the rapidly changing world impacted by modern technology. Many of us and the majority of the developing and under-developed nations have found it hard to cope with these rapid changes and ramifications on our lives. But this is the challenging world that our pre-school children will grow into when they face adulthood.

What was once iron rice-bowl jobs which offered great security in the past have suddenly become vulnerable. Modern technology has made many jobs in sectors such as manufacturing, retail and banking very vulnerable. Manufacturing because of increasing automation thus making human labour redundant; retail due to increasingly popular online shopping and banking also because of increasing automated machines and online use.

“One of the best jobs of the future is Artificial Intelligence” – Bill Gates

The founder of Microsoft and one of the richest men in the world understood these challenges and predicted that one of the most rewarding jobs of the future is the field of Artificial Intelligence (creating computers to perform jobs better than humans).

Does achieving A’s in exams determine future success?

A survey was made on a number of self-made millionaires and the results showed some interesting statistics. Only 20% were “A” students, 40% were “B” and the remaining 30% were “C” students. As regards to their family background, 60% came from middle class families and 40% from poor families.

But they all had something in common, they were:

1. Lifelong Learners

2. Able to Collaborate

3. Creative, and able to Analyze in solving problems.

Do not misunderstand me; I am all for training our children to achieve academic success each according to their ability. But I do not believe in pushing and pressuring our children through endless academic pursuits and competing to score more A’s than their peers. As the above survey shows, 8 out of 10 self-made millionaires were not A’s students. So while academic excellence is desirable, it is no guarantee to career success in the future.

As the world changes, so must our education methods. In the context of our rapidly changing world, what is more important is to educate our children towards 21st Century Learning.

What is 21st Century Learning?

21st Century Learning comprises the 4C’s of Communication, Collaboration, Creativity and Critical Thinking.

1. Communication
- Able to share information clearly in order to collaborate,
- Strong listening and evaluation skills,
- Carry out verbal/written/multimedia message
No matter how smart and visionary you are, you will never be a good leader/manager if you are unable to articulate your ideas through clear communication.

2. Collaboration
- Able to work with others to accomplish a goal,
- Flexible and share group responsibilities,
- Emotional tie with group
No employer like a lone ranger in their organization. Aspiring managers/leaders must be able to lead a team to collaborate in the achievement of set goals.

3. Creativity
- Ability to brainstorm and refine ideas,
- Responsive to listen to other ideas,
- Making ideas tangible and useful to others
Such ability makes the difference between the mundane and the movers that change the world.

4. Critical Thinking
- Ability to analyze/interpret/evaluate/solve problem
These are the achievers who are not beaten by failures but treat each failure/challenge as a stepping stone to ultimate success.

In addition to the above, we have also incorporated another 2C’s into our 21st Century Learning that is unique only to Fungates schools; i.e. Care and Choice.

5. Care
Under the Fungates system, all our teachers are trained not to use negative words such as “stupid, why are you always like that, etc” on our children. We firmly believe that no child is stupid; they are all wonderfully and beautifully made. We only have to discover their individual talents and understand that some are late bloomers whom teachers believe in. Teachers in our schools must genuinely love and care for our children.

6. Choice
- Ability to make the right choices in life through lessons in character building; because life is really all about making the right choices.

I am truly delighted to inform all our parents that we will, in 2018, implement fully 21st Century Education for your children in all our schools!

WORKING TOGETHER FOR A BETTER CHILD FUTURE,

H.K. Yap
Director of Schools