There is not even a speck of doubt that competition has increased manifold in 21st century and to prosper and succeed in this highly competitive world, efforts have to be channelized to develop the right set of skills.
20th century skills
In the previous era, the skill set requirement was way too different because of obvious reasons. The students were taught in a ‘teacher-centric instructional’ approach; the concept of ‘one-way method for all’ was prevalent; and the assessment was done only for the theoretical knowledge.
Therefore students were expected to develop 3 Rs (Reading, Writing, Arithmetic) ‘skill set’. In this contemporary era, the value of these skills has depreciated to the extent that these skills have been categorized as ‘obsolete’. A person is expected to know way more than the 3 Rs because business, nowadays, is multi- dimensional. People need to learn additional skills to contribute positively to their avenues.
21st century skills
In addition to the 3 Rs; 4 Cs (Communication, Collaboration, Creativity & Innovation, Critical Thinking & Problem Solving) have been added to the skill set students need to master in preparation for success in a rapidly changing, digital society.
During the early phase of 21st century, with advancements in technology, the economy underwent
an accelerating pace of change; a development which showed obvious effects on the workplace. Hence, it became imperative to prepare students in accordance with these alterations.
The new skills were then introduced as the branches of existing ones leading to ‘’3 Rs X 7 Cs” amounting to the “21st century” skills. [The additional 3 Cs are: Curiosity and Inquiry, Cultural Understanding, Care for oneself, others and the planet]
The importance of instilling these skills in a child can not be emphasized enough. The sooner s/he begins to work towards acquiring them, the sooner s/he is better off.
Educators have started realizing this need and at many educational institutions, there have been changes in the curriculum and the way evaluation takes place. But unfortunately, the method of teaching in schools has not changed much.
A truly integrated approach to learning has the potential to develop a child’s emotional quotient, and critical and analytical skills; skills required to enable a child to work with ease and efficiency in challenging situations in future. By an integrated approach, I mean a learning approach that binds various subjects with a logical thread, that gives a child practical insight with theoretical input, and that leads a child explore the depth of a piece of knowledge in a fun and interactive way.
Parents have realised the need of overall personality development and the need to inculcate new age skills in children. Therefore they have enrolled their children in afterschool learning programmes such as CG WhizKids so that their children do not lag behind and are leading the way!
When a student applies reasoning, linguistic and analytical skills in solving a single question, his/her brain power naturally increases. Furthermore, activities such as debates and theatre sessions improve a child’s communication and social skills and undoubtedly, these skills are a prerequisite for a child, to thrive in the corporate world today.