Over the term break I attended the IFC 8th Global Education Conference in Cape Town, South Africa. Cape Town is such a beautiful, cosmopolitan city. Two experiences stood out. It was humbling to visit places where Mandela spoke some of the most resounding words of peace, love, and freedom, and to spend time in the shadow of this great human – and Mandela’s presence is everywhere. It was uplifting to be in St George’s Cathedral, where once Desmond Tutu presided as Archbishop of Cape Town, attending a service in honour of the late Winnie Mandella (maWinnie). Just thinking of these moments deeply affects me.
The Conference was an incredible gathering of educators, policy makers and corporates from 48 nations, all focused on the “future our children are learning for”. As was the theme of the international conference I attended in Bangkok during Term 1, sentiments were aligned that the prevailing education model is not fit for purpose and we have likely no more than a decade to learn our way to relevance for the children who will emerge into the workforce 2030+.
In his opening remarks, Mohammed Ali Khan, Senior Education Specialist, IFC, commented that it is “critical for government, educators, and investors to envision new ways forward”. Several Conference sessions illustrated that one of the most significant issues is that the current school and tertiary systems are too slow to not only plan for the change required, but are unable to behave with the agility the global market place will increasingly demand. Enter the disruptors – private companies that are forming bridges between business and talent, who do not see race, gender or geography as barriers, and who focus on velocity of up-skilling tailored to the company’s requirements. And these disruptors are mining globally for talent, able to take only the cream, less than 1% of those who apply.
Research undertaken jointly by Pearsons and Oxford University found that the number 1 skill set linked to increasing demand in the future economy will be Learning Strategies, which unpacked is the combination of skills that comprise self-regulation and self-efficacy. The academic reform at MGGS across P-12 is designed to enhance self-regulation, scaffolded through Junior to Middle Years, culminating in a shift from control to autonomy within the Senior Years, empowering our students to authentically practice decision making and sharpen their capacity to manage their learning. We are taking our girls on a path that will equip them well for a world in which work will continue to decentralise, certification to segment, and freelancing become a dominant trend by 2020.
Term 2 is going to be busy and I am looking forward to the girls jumping right into opportunities and taking charge of their responsibilities. With rehearsals well underway for the School’s 125th Music Concert and our 2018 Senior Years Musical, Legally Blonde, I have to say our school “is alive with the sound of music”! And lots of laughter too!