At the end, we must prepare the children for change no matter where they school or live and what the environment may be. Change is inevitable whether we like it or not. Education must prepare for post-industrial or information age. Whether we like it or not, it’s just matter of time when drivers’ jobs will disappear with self-driving cars, buses, trucks and trains.
We must ensure that our children are not mislead into thinking that they could make a living doing what their predecessors did for generations.
Our businesses have evolved from barter to cash to credit, from isolated to connected business through agriculture, industrial, technological, and information ages.
Competition has changed from local to regional to global. So, our children must have relevant education to fit the time and prepare themselves for the toughest global competition. Competition is the best thing one can have. If one wants to improve his/her game, he/she must play with someone better than him/her.
The competition in the global environment is in the intellectual field and not necessarily on the football field.
In such a changing environment, un-conventional and customized education/learning is required. Conventional learning may give a little head start, but it can rob creativity and eroding competitive edge. All students must be encouraged to think outside-the-box, ask questions, and give ideas. A learning environment must be created that is based on student’s needs and aptitude. Vocational training, education for students with special needs must be seriously considered, provided. A diploma or a degree is not necessarily true and holistic education. A degree/diploma may be a tool to make a living, but may not necessarily make a decent, responsible citizen. Schools must provide not only an employment oriented education, but must provide a safe, respectful learning environment where hate, bullying, discrimination has no place.
The need of the day is unconventional learning; learning that is appropriate for changes that can be envisioned, that is employment oriented that would reduce economic divide, learning that encourages questions and ideas. Peer pressure, if any, should be for academic excellence, not for Air-Jordan shoes or drugs. Our schools must provide the same, but customized learning environment, same opportunity and access to each student. We as community members, parents and tax payers must demand that.