The Biggest Challenge or Opportunity Kids Today Face

Our world is changing dynamically every day. Every aspect of life is changed except our education system. This poses a lot of challenges such as lack of quality education, outdated syllabus, lack of talented teachers. The biggest challenge that kids face today is our education system itself. The education system still believes in age-based grading (K to 12 methods) and focus on academics in a rat race method. The “One size fits all” approach followed in most schools is considered inappropriate by many experts as some children are good in art, some are good in science, some are fast learners some are slow learners. Also, the old passive method of teaching eg. lectures doesn’t interest the tech-addicted students. Memorization of facts is given more importance than understanding and critically analyzing. Irrelevant education in relation to the job market is creating more unemployment.

Amongst all these challenges, yet there is an opportunity and that is technology. The growing technology provides an opportunity for kids to easily access the internet and learn subjects. However, the internet contains both right and wrong information which makes kids vulnerable to confusion and cyberbullying. There may be many more challenges that kids may encounter but the only way out is to teach skills to our children to overcome these challenges

What skills do they need to face it, how would you encourage the development of those skills?

21st-century children with access to digital devices need an active learning mode of education where children learn by performing an activity. This helps the child to think creatively and act flexibly. Instead of rote learning children should be encouraged to actively collaborate and work in teams and arrive at a consensus. This develops emotional intelligence in children to effectively manage people in real-life situations.

Critical thinking is another important skill that present-day kids need. Rather than learning how a machine works children should be taught to create a machine, programme it and work with it. Critical concepts should be taught in a problem-based learning method. This helps the child to understand and retain the concept for a longer period. Also, it helps to develop problem-solving ability through which solutions can be obtained for real-life problems. The topics for teaching should be chosen from present-day problems such as space debris, climate change, global warming.

Leadership skill is another important skill that young children need to become successful enterpreunar. This can be developed by increasing the confidence in kids through clarity in thought and speech.

Digital literacy is one of the vital skills that 21st century kids should possess. As smartphones have become a part of kids learning tools. Children should be taught about these technologies so that they not only remain passive users but active developers. Children should be given information literacy as they encounter a wide variety of information online, they should be taught to understand the facts, data, figures.

Children need analytical skills to evaluate any object/ concept before using it. This becomes more important than ever before as the internet is filled with information. children should develop analytical skills and critical thinking ability to judge right and wrong.

Children should be taught about the harmful effects of the internet and be taught to protect themselves from cyberbullying, cybercrime.

I believe each child is unique. Therefore each child requires special attention according to their needs to realize their maximum potential.

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