The 21st Century is the era of advancement in technology as well as sprouting of innovative ideas and mission. Much has been said about the skills needed by a child to succeed in school and beyond.
However it is important that awareness be created for educational leaders, care-givers and parents to be conversant with the Essential Skills for a Child to Succeed in the 21st Century in order to support their ward to achieve or attain success.
Research carried out by top universities in the world show that children with a strong foundation of life’s essential skills are resilient, confident, motivated and successful. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), life skills are “the abilities for adaptive and positive behaviour than enable individuals to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life”. The following are essential skills for a Child to Succeed in the 21st Century.
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Being able to adapt at the wake of changing technology and environment becomes an essential skill for any child or student who wants to succeed in the 21st century. It is important to stay updated by learning new things and unlearning outdated things. Introducing a child to the adaptability concept and the mental processes involved at a very tender age makes a lot of difference when they grow to become adults. It not only equips them with the right skills needed to forge ahead in an ever-changing world but also places in them a mind-set that encourages change as an opportunity for growth and development.
- Creative and Problem-Solving Skills
Being able to think creatively is one skill in the 21st century that will stand you out and also differentiate you from the pack and establish a leadership position. Although some may think that these skills are in-born gifts, the ability to think flexibly and solve problems are skills that can be taught – to everyone’s advantage. Being in possession of problem-solving ability makes you always look out for ways to solve a problem which in itself comes with a lot of benefits.
- Digital Skills
This is the era of digital dominance and footprints and therefore proficiency in digital and technological skills in non-negotiable. Beyond knowing how to use digital devices, possession of digital skills comprise algorithmic thinking, coding, and digital responsibility. This skill will help young minds to create and advance digital ideas for self-reliance and awareness. For instance, many jobs in today’s world involve some sort of involvement with a basic understanding of technology, and for those who possess high levels of technological acumen, entire industries welcome those skills so that innovation will continue to expand in this area.
- Interpersonal Skills
This skill serves as the cornerstone for a child’s other abilities. A child that can articulate their ideas and vision and listens to others with empathy, becomes proficient collaborators which is an important attribute in team-building and team work. It is worthy of note to state that every successful relationship and endeavour is hinged on effective communication. Building a firm and healthy foundation in communication empowers a child with the ability to express his/her thoughts, ideas, and feelings with clarity. It also helps the child to comprehend diverse opinions.
- Management and Leadership Abilities
Nurturing and developing management and leadership skills in children is essential for their personal growth and future success. A child with this skill will know how to plan, coordinate, motivate others to achieve a particular task whether in school, social gathering, etc. This is an important skill that helps the child to take responsibilities for his/her actions and also be on the look out for others while striving to achieve success in a role.
Children in the 21st century are certainly faced with high expectations such as academic success even as they grow older. However, those horn and nurture these “21st century skills” will find themselves in an enviable position. They will be better prepared to contribute positively to society, individually and collectively, in our ever-changing society