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GEEPS 2018 Report

21st Century Skills and Schooling in Pakistan

Ms. Margo A. Aziz, Director at International School of Choueifat, Lahore shared her views on “21st Century Skills & Schooling in Pakistan” at the launching ceremony of “Graduate Employability: Employers’ Perception Survey 2018-19” report by Naqeebz Consulting

Communication is the key for meaningful collaboration, creativity and critical thinking.

Ms. Margo classified the 21st century skills into the three essential skills; learning, literacy and life skills. She believes that learning is the most enduring skill in our lives. We should also equip ourselves with the contingent literacy skills according to the time and era we are living in. We develop life skills over the period of time, from the upbringing or family structure and through the experiences of life. She elaborated the learning skills in context of four (04) Cs; critical thinking, creativity, collaboration and communication skills. Critical thinking helps student to “figure it out” for themselves when teachers are not around for analyzing and problem solving. Thinking outside the box, looking and exploring new innovative solutions and approaches, risk taking are much needed skills to be imparted at schools. Students should be encouraged to work together, compromise, and get the best possible results. Communication is the key for meaningful collaboration, creativity and critical thinking.

Technological skills are the key to more literate world

Information, media and technology literacy are essential literacy skills in today’s time. To acquire the adequate knowledge, to know the world dynamics and to learn the up-to-date technological skills are the key to more literate world. Understanding of facts, figures, data, and statistics has become easier and is just one click away in this digitized world. The practice of identifying publishing methods, outlets and sources while distinguishing credible one from the ones which aren’t is mandatory for media skills. Similarly, technological skills should be a must for students in this post-modern era.

 

Students should be taught life skills

For life skills, Ms. Margo suggested that students should be taught behavioral skills; which are necessary to excel as a human being. The ability to accept changes in plans as needed and making peace with the changing circumstances is an art to inculcate in your personality. The ability to set goal, walking a team through all the requirements, achieving goals collaboratively, defines a good leader. Initiation skills shape an individual to be a self-starter, and it requires commitment and passion to go forth. Ability to complete work in an appropriate time allocated enhances the productivity of a person. Networking, building relationships, attitudes, and conflict resolution, making a point, arriving at consensus, listening, cultural sensitivity, and manners attributed as social skills for which schools should devise plans to include in their curriculum. For improving the current schooling system, Ms. Margo suggested to take radical steps for educational reforms at both schools and universities. The effective teacher training and licensing of teacher is another important measure to improve the educational framework.  Virtual classrooms should be developed to enhance the technological interventions in the curriculum. Finally, private-public partnership is mandatory to bridge the gap between public schools and elite or private schools. This could be achieved by proper monitoring and by developing a transparent educational system.

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