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Choosing what to do after school

Source: abssvss

You’re 18 years old, finished school and most probably, experiencing the ‘end of childhood’ as you knew it. You are faced with a life time decision, or so you feel, about your career path.

Many have been in a similar situation..’the road not taken’…’jobs of the future’… ‘choose wisely’…. So much pressure for relatively young souls that have being part of the schooling system for more than a decade. A system where almost everything is dictated, including the dress code, the time to wake up and the curriculum.

Now, you have to choose the path to take. What to learn, where and when. You have to dictate your own path. Seeking guidance through assessments, professionals, teachers or parents can be useful but doesn’t always bear the answers you are looking for.

The following four principles can help you through this period;

  1. Take the risk. The biggest fear is selecting a path for which you are not sure of. It’s Ok if you decide to change your route! See each experience as an opportunity to learn and grow.
  2. Embrace lifelong learning. No matter what you have chosen, continue learning. In today’s changing environment it is no longer the case that we learn for a profession it is learning while you are in the job.
  3. Travel, get out of your comfort zone. Traveling experiences can provide ample learning and strengthen your character.
  4. Gap Year; If you’re not sure what to do after school, take a gap year, but enrich this year with studies, reading and travel experiences. The decision will come sooner or later. Even if later, you’d have a wider foundation to stand on to ensure you are equipped to deal with changes and new unexpected career pathways.

Source: Crunchy Friday

* This post is first in a series of articles to tackle issue of career guidance. Please comment and share your thoughts and own experiences

Do we still need schools?

ORT, one of the most respectable educational NGO’s in the world, held discussions questioning the role of schools and the need for change in order to keep up with trends and the needs of new generations. ORT, which started in 1880, is a global network of schools, academies and operations in nearly 40 countries. The question of the role of schools in light of technological and economic changes is relevant to the sustainability of this organisation more than ever.

Schools are more than mortar and bricks

When debated, the issue of the role of schools and if we still need them in their current form, opinions were mixed and some even emotional. Professor Sidney Strauss (80) recalled his junior teachers’ names and characters. Geoff, ORT Director in North America could list his teachers from grade 1 to grade 6. Teachers have the potential to leave eternal marks in our heart. I believe that technology will never be able to replace that.

When visiting an ORT school in Argentina and ORT University in Uruguay, I have observed that committed and passionate teachers and lecturers can create an incredible and nurturing environment of learning and growing for children.

Schools for developing minds not ‘stuffing minds’

An excellent curriculum combining project / problem -based learning will ensure that we equip learners with the skills and knowledge needed for future jobs. The curriculum delivery needs to embed current pedagogical approaches, such as deep learning and peer-learning and where possible, adjusts to society’s needs. For example, in ORT Argentina, Grade 10 learners select between 10 streams. The newest addition is the Humanities and Social Research stream where kids do actual market research, analyse the data and with the use of social media, present their findings. Understanding the needs of new generations, the requirements of future jobs and the market are crucial in designing a curriculum that is practical and relevant.

Partnerships are key in achieving success in education

The responsibility for educated and equipped future generations lies in the hands of different stakeholders. It cannot rely only on schools, teachers and parents. The efforts must be a combination of government, corporates, teachers and parents. In fact, having an umbrella body such as World ORT contributes tremendously to these efforts by being the catalyst, the match maker and sometimes the ‘glue’ that holds everything together.

It must be clear what the problem is that we want technology to solve

Miguel, who heads the agency for innovation in education in Uruguay, has provided some insight into embedding technologies together with changes in pedagogies. His advice is to first focus on the problem we need to solve, then use technology to solve it as an accelerator for better pedagogies. In short, Technologies are the accelerator of new pedagogies.

In conclusion, technology was, is and will always be, the tool or the device through which new pedagogies or approaches in education are implemented. The schools may not be brick and mortar, they may be virtual, online or in the cloud but should never lose the human interaction, the coaching, mentoring and facilitation provided by teachers and learners.

Below is a slide show from ORT Argentina, demonstrating the interaction and practical experience students gained during their studies:

Visit to AMIA Argentina

At the AMIA Community Centre in Argentina we remember the past, cherish the fallen and lost of precious lives and are reminded of the present and the importance of tolerance and peace. We are also aware that a united community will be stronger against any hatred and terror

Addiction to our mobile phones

On a flight from São Paulo to Buenos Aires, I was sitting near a girl in her twenties and a guy in his thirties. What strikes me the most that the first thing they did, settling down, was connecting to their mobile phone, charging it and scrolling through their phones. I thought about a lecture I once heard that the average person goes through the height of Eiffel Tower scrolling A DAY!

What strikes me the most, is that we lost the communication between people. Here’s an opportunity to connect with strangers from different cultures, different countries but yet we miss it by scrolling our Eiffel – daily feeds on social media.

Social media made us less sociable, this was my realization as I dozed off to the background hard- core Music bouncing off the girls’ earphones.

We’re doomed..