Education & Skills: “Can we build the skills for the future and make them

Accessible to all”

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Education & Skills: “Can we build the skills for the future and make them

Accessible to all?”

The world was already experiencing unprecedented changes due to the immense technological advancements and accelerated globalization, which exerted enormous pressure on the current educational approaches and skill-sets. The growing economic, environmental and social challenges were already promoting the need to change the educational strategies needed to future-proof individuals, communities, and societies from protracted adverse outcomes in the future. The covid-19 pandemic aggravated this situation by revealing the apathy to change and the deeply-ingrained educational inequalities that heightened the risk of continued social injustice and erosion of democracy, with some segments of the global society being threatened by perennial and unending marginalization and disempowerment. Yet, these occurrences have reenergized the need to rethink and reimagine the education system and pertinent skills that would future-proof individuals, communities and societies against the worsening global conditions and increasing uncertainties. We need to capitalize on this turning point in education to craft education systems and pedagogies that inculcate skills that would future-proof current students against future vulnerabilities. While I appreciate the ongoing transformation in the education sector initiated by the ongoing challenges and the subsiding covid-19 pandemic, more needs to be done to capitalize on the current change momentum and innovativeness to deliver longstanding and radical transformation to help address current and future challenges effectively.

The main argument is that the ongoing momentous, rapid, and radical changes occurring in contemporary society alongside the experiences from the subsiding covid-19 pandemic have initiated a desirable but arduous journey of transforming education globally. Already, the education sector is embracing digital technologies and transforming learning by blending the traditional physical interaction between educators and learners with digital technologies that enable virtual delivery of lessons and access to learning materials. The proliferation of the computer, smartphones, and other digital devices has promoted the adoption of e-learning systems across educational institutions worldwide. Similarly, governments are investing more in technology infrastructure, while the private sector is leading innovations in new interactive technologies, such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and augmented reality, which are bridging the divide between physical and virtual delivery of lessons and learning experiences. Now, learners of all ages and diverse professions can access educational materials conveniently, control their learning pace, and select learning materials from a broadened and enriched pool of educational materials. Likewise, educators can create new learning pedagogies and access diverse teaching materials from databases. Altogether, these trends demonstrate that the contemporary educator and learner is ready to leapfrog into the new technology-enabled education frontiers with future-proofed skills to help develop a future society that can address the emerging challenges globally.  

Specifically, virtual learning gained prominence and acceptance at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic when schools and universities closed down to conform to the public health protocols. Ali (2020) revealed the emergence and rapid evolution of technologies supporting online learning, remote learning, and distance education through large-scale national efforts by governments and educational institutions during the Covid-19 pandemic. He notes that Italy was the first European member country to close its institutions of higher learning and deploy online learning when the country was in quarantine (Ali, 2020). With many other countries following suit, the adoption of technology by the education sector during the pandemic indicates that the world was ready for the revolutionary change already underway. However, not every learner and educator can access these technologies, thus leading to significant inequalities.

However, the pronounced inequalities that have been revealed among communities, societies, countries, which have been evidenced by the vast differences in education access and academic achievement, threaten to undermine the valuable lessons learned from the ongoing crises and the transformations underway. For instance, Aditya (2021) noted that although many educators felt ready to deploy technology in their pedagogy during the pandemic, their efforts were thwarted by inequitable distribution of and access to digital learning technologies, particularly in rural settings. This is a global challenge, even in high-economy countries where internet connectivity and gadget access issues challenge some members of society. Nonetheless, these challenges are unlikely to undo the already ongoing transformation in the education sector.

Despite these challenges, the transformation journey in the education sector is firmly underway and is attempting to circumvent the barriers presented by educational inequalities and disparities that would skew the allocation of effort and resources. Vegas and Winthrop (2020) found that the increased acceptance of technology-driven and enabled education among parents, students, teachers, and other stakeholders had spurred increased partnerships to help learners and educators broaden their skills and competencies in and out of educational facilities. This new development had fostered innovations into new ways of delivering education equitably (Vegas & Winthrop, 2020). It suggests that the world is ready for seismic transformations in the education sector, despite the ongoing challenges.

In conclusion, education must develop and nurture pertinent skills to help individuals, communities, and societies address current and future challenges. In future-proofing current students across all divides, education must be transformed to deliver the broadened mandate in a fast-changing and unpredictable global environment. Technology will play a critical role in realizing these overarching goals.


Aditya, D. S. (2021). Embarking Digital Learning Due to COVID-19: Are Teachers Ready? Journal of Technology and Science Education11(1), 104-116.

Ali, W. (2020). Online and remote learning in higher education institutes: A necessity in light of COVID-19 pandemic. Higher Education Studies10(3), 16-25.

Vegas, E. & Winthrop, R. (2020). Beyond reopening schools: How education can emerge stronger than before Covid-19. Brookings. Retrieved from

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