The VUCA World, which stands for Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous) that we inhabit today has become increasingly challenging in almost every sphere of life. The race to transform the traditional human life into a utopia of perfectionism has outpaced our intellectual faculties. It has undoubtedly disintegrated the indigenous fabric of most contemporary societies. The mismatch between our learning and its practical applicability has produced significant hurdles in our intellectual and professional development. People have started to treat education more as a source for degrees than actual learning. The distinction between knowledge and mere information has become quite blur over the last decade. Therefore, the challenges that most education sectors face today are not new.
Confucius once said, “Education-education breeds confidence. Confidence breeds hope. Hope breeds peace.” But what if we are unable to breed education properly? What if the challenges the education sector faces today drive more and more people away from it? It would undoubtedly result in a severe calamity to us. There is already a considerable gap in the education standards and job market requirements. Only 6.7% of people around the world have a bachelor’s degree.
In contrast, approximately 35% of global job openings require at least a bachelor’s degree. Therefore, it places a dire need to understand the challenges the education sector faces globally. It would help the education sector to devise strategies to tackle them accordingly. Let’s discuss them;
Lack of Professional Educationalists
Neither every highly qualified person can become a good teacher, nor must every good teacher be highly skilled. Teaching itself is a skill and understanding the dynamics of delivering education requires formal training. An excellent player is not necessarily a fantastic coach too. Similarly, proper qualifications within education are necessary to produce efficient leadership in the education sector. High-time professionals related to the education sector chisel their industry-specific skills through relevant higher education education. The flexibility offered through online edd programs has undoubtedly made it more accessible. One country out of every three has about 40% of teachers who are not trained to even national standards. Unfortunately, about 130 million enrolled students don’t even get to learn basic knowledge properly.
The Technological Disruption
There are a plethora of facets where technology is disrupting the educational sector. With the digitization of course material, immersive classrooms, students’ interaction through the Internet of Things (IoT) to entire virtual universities, technology is everywhere. The size of EdTech only in the Chinese education market will reach about $715 billion by 2025. We can’t ignore the paradigm shift technology has brought about in our education sector. The success of this coalition of technology and education lies in our response to it. You can either build a multi-million dollar business using Facebook marketing or be happy posting your check-ins. You can’t prevent technological disruption in any field of life.
Furthermore, you can only equip yourself with appropriate tools to reap the maximum benefits out of it. However, incorporating technology in the education sector comes with high costs and training requirements. Additionally, there is also the problem of lack of access to resources for many students to avail of such online tools.
The Learning Dilemma
The focus of traditional education has become skewed mainly toward teaching than learning. Students are enrolled in educational institutions but are they learning the way they should? A student can learn adequately only when he/she has chosen the field of interest. Especially in the developing world, students select their field of study out of peer pressure or societal norms. If not, then the prime focus is to get a good job. It truncates the real purpose of education from learning to just a means to a job. It’s not entirely wrong, but this approach should constitute a part of your decision and not the only influence. Educational institutes are partly responsible for this dilemma too. They don’t provide moral guidance to students that can streamline their decision-making. Moreover, memorization is considered synonymous with learning in most schools and colleges. This trend must change to uplift the quality of the student body.
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Education is getting more expensive
College tuition has seen the greatest hike in fees over the last two decades than any other service except hospital care. Now, more students are graduating with debts than ever before. There are 45 million students in just the U.S. with a staggering total of $1.5 trillion in outstanding student loans. Specifically, higher education has become out of reach for middle and upper-middle-class families. The whopping disparity between the price of private and public education has worsened the situation even further. Though, educational institutes are continuously increasing and introducing more competition in this sector. Paradoxically, the increased market competition has not pulled down the price of education.
Education and Job Market Disparity
The official unemployment rate in the U.S. was 14.7% in the April of 2020. Although the Coronavirus pandemic is mainly responsible for it, the mismatch between education and labor market requirements contributed too. Global unemployment remains steady at around 6%. It is primarily because labor markets face demand and supply gaps of the right skills – especially in the developing world. There are innumerable candidates but not with the proper education. It breeds inefficient employees in the corporate circles because people take up roles that don’t fall in their domain. By considering the scale of this issue, there are specific recognition in government policies worldwide to cater to this concern. Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) encompasses core objectives to work for reducing this disparity.
As Nelson Mandela quoted, education is your most potent weapon. In this contemporary world of cut-throat competition, its significance has increased exponentially. The education sector is replete with challenges, but you mustn’t quit. The ever-changing nature of human interaction is inherent to this sector too. You must possess the necessary agility, adaptability, and alignment to reorganize yourself. It will help you to adjust and acquire the required education. Simultaneously, the concerned authorities and stakeholders of the education sector must ponder over these challenges. They must formulate a structural framework to minimize the hardships students face around the world.