As the world rapidly advances towards a tech-savvy future, the landscape of work is undergoing profound changes. Automation, artificial intelligence, and digitisation are reshaping industries, demanding a new set of skills for the workforce. In this blog post, we'll explore the crucial skills children need to start learning in order to be prepared for a digitally-inclined future of work. We also highlight how businesses from our 2023 Mastercard Foundation EdTech Fellowship Program are contributing to this outcome.
Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving
Critical thinking and problem-solving are foundational skills that will remain essential in the future job market. Encouraging children to question, analyse, and solve complex problems empowers them to become adaptable and resourceful thinkers. By engaging in challenging projects and real-world simulations, students can sharpen their ability to strategise and navigate through various scenarios, preparing them to tackle novel challenges in the workforce.
Afrika Tikkun Bambanani supports this goal by fostering children’s development of critical thinking through the use of various digital games and activities that encourage young children to problem-solve, build puzzles and more. Resolute Education, on their side, aims to empower and equip underprivileged students and educators with problem-solving abilities by introducing them to essential robotics and coding skills.
In an increasingly technology-dependent world, digital literacy is a must-have skill. Children should not merely be consumers of technology but also confident creators and navigators thereof. Familiarity with digital tools, coding, and online safety will give them an edge in a tech-driven job market. Integrating technology into classrooms enables students to grasp digital concepts early on, preparing them for seamless integration into the workforce where technology is ubiquitous.
Code4Kids improves digital literacy levels by training educators and implementing a comprehensive curriculum centred on IT, robotics and coding for children aged 8 to 15. Digify Africa’s aims to reduce youth unemployment by providing training to young Africans in sought-after tech-based skills, empowering them to establish self-sustaining careers within the digital economy. Zaio is an innovative virtual IT school, assuring students of secured employment upon successful course completion, setting them up for success in the working world.
Creativity and Innovation
Amidst automation, creativity and innovation are uniquely human attributes that machines cannot replicate. Cultivating a child's imagination and encouraging them to think outside the box fosters innovation and empowers them to create solutions for complex problems. Art, music, and design play an essential role in stimulating creativity, and integrating these disciplines with technology opens up new avenues for children to explore their inventive potential.
Buzz Kidz believes in the power of play-based learning through dance, drama and singing. The company has developed a whole curriculum centred on this to elevate creativity in the learning experience. Ambani Africa is a future-focused technology firm deeply rooted in culture, specialising in educational services and products. Leveraging augmented reality, animation, and gamification, this organisation has effectively crafted engaging, learner-centred language learning products to enhance the educational journey.
Adaptability and Lifelong Learning
The future of work is unpredictable, with new technologies and industries constantly emerging. To thrive in this ever-changing landscape, children need to be adaptable and committed to lifelong learning. Emphasising the value of continuous education and a growth mindset will instil in them the willingness to acquire new skills and knowledge throughout their lives. By staying curious and open-minded, they will be better equipped to adapt to evolving job demands and remain competitive in the job market.
Click Learning contributes to this cause by helping underserved South African primary schools improve basic literacy, mathematics, and digital abilities with relevant online programmes. These programmes empower young students to independently advance through technology-enabled learning. FunDza Literacy Trust encourages students to be lifelong learners by providing them with personalised reading materials that reflect their lived experiences to help foster a love for reading and writing. Matric Live’s main goal is to equalise opportunities for underprivileged grade 12 students by providing a multifunctional education application. This equips learners for the world of work as they prepare for their final examinations.
Reflective Learning goes beyond identifying gaps in students’ knowledge; they determine the necessary point of review to facilitate the catch up process through personalised programmes tailored to their learning needs. This enables learners to solidify their grasp of complex concepts. Yenza facilitates student adaptability in a tech-driven future by helping them find their ideal career. This is achieved through career pathing, upskilling to improve employability, and providing access to resources to help kick-start students’ professional careers.
As reflected in the work done by the EdTech organisations mentioned, education technology can play a transformative role in nurturing skills for future success. We can equip our children with the tools they need to embrace the future with confidence by giving them access to digital tools, immersive learning experiences, and opportunities for innovation. As custodians, it is our collective responsibility to guide and support kids on this journey, fostering a generation of adaptable and creative individuals ready to thrive in the tech-driven future of work.