Digital expertise and technology know-how are no longer the remit of places like Silicon Valley. As we head into the Fourth Industrial Revolution, each and every young person will need to prepare for a world constantly changing to rapidly evolving machines.
According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), 1.2 billion employees worldwide stand to be affected by the adaptation of automation technologies and artificial intelligence (AI). Nine out of 10 jobs in the future will require digital skills.
Yet in a 2019 report by UNICEF that surveyed youths aged 15 to 24 years old in Lao PDR, only 34% in the top wealth quintile reported using ICT skills.
Education plays an important role in ensuring today’s youth are equipped with the digital skills and competencies for them to thrive tomorrow. It is vital to make sure they are ready to take on the in-demand roles as technology professionals like computer engineers and information communication technology (ICT) specialists.
Here are four international schools in Asia that successfully equip students with the skills required to get ahead in the future of work:
British International School Ho Chi Minh City (BIS HCMC) goes beyond traditional education to prepare students for the future of work.
2020 has posed some unprecedented global challenges, but Vietnam’s top international school continues to innovate and create measures to ensure academic progress continues for every child. Teachers adapted quickly to new ways of working during the early adoption of virtual schooling and have continued to build on their success. The school even built a virtual environment, which they were able to use to offer support to BIS HCMC parents during challenging times.
The Global Campus Platform allows students at the school to connect with their Nord Anglia Education peers all around the world through competitions, discussions groups and even challenges posed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Staying positive is a core ingredient to coping with these turbulent times and in future challenges. Which is why the school is taking the “positive psychology” approach, underpinned by the work of Professor Martin Seligman’s “PERMA model,” a style of developing wellbeing which is built around the key elements of positive emotions: engagement, relationships, meaning, accomplishment and later extended to include health. Teachers also adapted their integrated wellbeing curriculum to suit the needs of their learners during their virtual school experience.
“The wellbeing activities are enjoyable and help us to improve ourselves, such as our health when following the workout videos or our photography skills when participating in the daily photography challenge. Most importantly, the school has taught me to enjoy every moment in life,” said BIS HCMC student Marya Cao.
A-JIS, an international school in Tokyo, is an IB Continuum World School that aims to develop future leaders that can bring about positive change in the world.
This is achieved through its unique curriculum, supported by the school’s faculty who are skilled at inspiring students to seek opportunities that lay ahead of them.
As a testament to its high standards, the school boasts several accreditations, including the International Baccalaureate, Council of International Schools (CIS), and the New England Association of the Schools and Colleges (NEASC).
At its diverse campus, there are 530 students, representing 46 countries, which allows students to develop their global awareness and understanding of cultural differences and commonalities.
A-JIS stands out from other international schools in Japan due its Core Values — global leadership, entrepreneurship, innovation, effective communication, risk-taking, problem-solving — which are woven into the school’s curriculum. They act as a catalyst for developing 21st century learners with the necessary skills to thrive in the disruptive future of work.
With the age of automation well underway, “human skills” such as those in A-JIS’s Core Values are the ones likely to become highly in demand.
Singapore American School (SAS) is committed to providing each student from preschool through to Grade 12 an exemplary American educational experience with a future-focused perspective.
“Driving all our work from preschool through 12th 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
Meanwhile, their Centre of Innovation provides a dedicated space for students to gain exposure to new ways of thinking and to pursue new interests. Inquiry-based learning never stops at SAS, one of the most innovative international schools in Asia.
*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International