Earlier this year, a UNICEF poll collated the opinions of 40,000 young people in over 150 countries to find out what they thought about their job prospects.
According to the poll, one third (31%) of the young people responding via UNICEF’s engagement platform “U-Report” said that the skills and training programmes offered to them did not match their career aspirations.
For UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore, this poll showed that the top concerns of youths today are education and employment.
“Young people are telling us they want digital and transferable skills to succeed in the workplace of the future,” she said.
International schools have to equip today’s youth with skills that prepare them for the job market of tomorrow.
The key skills young people are looking to acquire in order help them gain employment in the next decade include leadership, which concerns 22% of those surveyed, followed by analytical thinking and innovation (19%), and information and data processing (16%).
International schools must ensure students have access to technology and expose them to co-curricular activities that develop their skill set and nurture their talents to help them thrive at university and beyond.
They must also arm students with the knowledge needed to keep up with the changes in the modern world. By doing so, students will be ready to compete in the globalised economy, regardless of where they are in the world.
Here are four international schools in Asia that do just that:
St Andrews International School in Bangkok inspires children from a young age to build a better future for themselves and the planet through forward-thinking initiatives and personalised learning.
“Our school focuses on each child’s learning potential with specialist teachers within our learning support department who continuously look for ways to help individuals who are finding their learning more challenging,” said the St Andrews Head of School Paul Schofield.
St Andrews students are also motivated to become future sustainability leaders.
For instance, St Andrews became the first school in Thailand to implement “Meat Free Monday” after learning about the negative environmental impact of animal agriculture and meeting with the school’s catering company to discuss lowering their meat consumption.
In addition, St Andrews students helped to launch the country’s first school-based zero-waste shop named “Little Steps to Zero Waste”, which means members of the surrounding community can now buy products in refillable and reusable containers, eliminating the need for single-use plastic.
The work of the students and the support of the school community was even recognised at the 2020 International School Awards ceremony hosted by ISC Research in London.
St Andrews International School Bangkok won the coveted “International School of the Year Award” for supporting their far-reaching, community-engaging, environmentally-focused initiatives.
Schofield said: “Educators must make all young people aware about sustainability as it’s now a significant part of the culture students are growing up in. Moreover, children are increasingly interested in it.”
To learn more about how St Andrews supports students through creative, collaborative and future-focused lessons, schedule a Virtual Discovery Meeting today.
The International School Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam adopts a progressive approach to education and urges their students to participate actively and responsibly in an increasingly interconnected world.
It is one of a handful of international schools in Asia that keeps students’ skill sets relevant by integrating technology into the student learning experience using 3D printers, media studios, green screens and film rooms, among other teaching tools.
“We have very passionate teachers who believe in our mission and vision – and this is very important for us. It’s a special place, because we have invested a lot of money to make this place as fantastic as possible,” said ISHCMC Head of School Adrian Watts.
To keep their learners focused and working towards their future career goals, ISHCMC holds daily mindfulness lessons to encourage positive emotions among students and teachers.
“The happiness of our students and parents has greatly contributed to the school’s reputation,” said Watts.
“If a child is coming into a school that really cares then they go home smiling, and that’s something that makes their parents happy as well. Happiness is definitely something we do very well.”
Singapore American School (SAS) is committed to providing each student from preschool through to Grade 12 an exemplary American educational experience with an international perspective.
“Driving all our work from preschool through twelfth grade are our seven desired student learning outcomes: character, creativity, cultural competence, critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and content knowledge,” said SAS Superintendent Tom Boasberg.
In class, on the stage, on the sports field, and in service clubs, SAS students develop all the above attributes.
Boasberg said: “By developing ethical and resilient character traits, students will have the strength to deal with both the opportunities and the challenges of the 21st century.”
“After all, a SAS education will ensure that students are well positioned to succeed as individuals and contribute meaningfully to their communities and the world,” said Boasberg.
Seoul Foreign School in South Korea prepares students for the future of work by expanding students’ global outlook through an international curriculum and a diverse student body and faculty.
SFS believes that all students should graduate equipped with a global perspective. For that reason, learners get the option of the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum or the English national curriculum, tailored to suit individual needs and aspirations.
For SFS Head of School Colm Flanagan, a “sense of care” is also at the heart of the school’s mission.
“This care is obvious as you spend time in and around our school. The importance of caring for each child, their learning and success is what defines our school’s approach,” he said.
And as a Christian school, SFS welcomes everyone, offering a home away from home to every student.
“This is a community that goes the extra mile for its students. We work together to understand how we can help each learner fulfil his or her potential, setting them on the road to achieving their dreams,” said Flanagan.
*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International