Students throughout the world are being failed by ‘factory schools’ which train them to pass exams but not prepare them for the rapidly changing, technologically advanced world. The Towards Global Learning Goals (TGLG) network, based in Abu Dhabi, has called for an international ‘learning revolution’. This, it says, will transform the way education is delivered.
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Tom Fletcher, TGLG project leader who is also an academic, diplomat and author, said ‘the real shock and horror’ is that so many kids are ‘learning the wrong things in the wrong way’. “Everyone knows this, the business leaders, the tech leaders, the governments. But it seems to be incredibly hard to achieve change.” Fletcher said it is a real challenge for humanity that the next generation just won’t have the skills to adapt to the age of artificial intelligence and automation.
The TGLG report sets out ideas for people across the different sectors to make the much needed improvements. It highlights Finland and Singapore as leaders in providing children with an education that is ‘fit for purpose’. The report praises UAE for designing and measuring moral education. Moreover, it proposes Singapore or Finland to form a ‘pioneer’ group of progressive educational missionaries who would promote reform the world over. The report described universities as ‘institutional impediments to reform’. TGLG urges the world to look beyond academic results in selection and assessment criteria, and to look more at character and potential. The report urges parents to change their attitudes by understanding that the way they were taught is not the best for their children.
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Governments should move away from teaching children about the military glories of the past. In place of education systems that prioritize the teaching of conflict, education should cover the development of political and social systems for coexistence and peace, says the report.