Schools are quite good at teaching things – but what are our students learning? Distinctions are wonderful, but how qualified do they leave students for the working world? Traditional education focusses on teaching, not learning and assumes that for every minute of teaching, there is a minute of learning.
“Most of what we learn while at school is learned without it being taught to us and sadly, most of what is taught in our classrooms is forgotten with much that is remembered being entirely irrelevant to our working lives,” says Shaun Fuchs, founder of Centennial Schools.
In a world constantly changing, our education system is not keeping pace. There is very little real-world skills taught in our schools, which effectively means our students do not graduate after 12 years of schooling anywhere near ready for the working world, Fuchs says.
An essential requirement, and not due to change, is being adept to technology. The world is powered and driven by technology. Fuchs says the educational landscape in South Africa must be reframed to focus on technology to give students the chance they need to help tackle our youth unemployment crisis. He argues that the path to transformational education outcomes is one that allows students to graduate high school ready for the working world.
“Our children face a completely different world from the one their parents grew up in. With the exponential speed of technological change, we need to make absolutely sure our children can cope and thrive in an ever-evolving world,” says Fuchs.
“The best chance of success is to give students exposure to the real world, while at school, and tackling challenges through experiential and probables based learning,” he says.
How Centennial Schools is using technology:
The school uses the full suite of Microsoft applications, like MS Outlook, Teams, One Note, Word, Powerpoint, Calendar to book boardrooms or consultations with teachers.
“These are integrated into the daily functions of our learning hubs (classrooms), pedagogy and school operations. Utilising the power of Minecraft for education, we encourage our students with game-based learning. As part of this approach, students are also equipped with skills for content creation,” Fuchs says.
In addition, technology subjects like CoinED – which focusses on cryptocurrencies and Blockchain – are part of the Centennial Schools curriculum. Students also study Adobe Suite which focusses on creative and digital innovation and Studio One which is all about music production and film scoring.
Grade 7 to 9 do coding as a subject which develops their natural ability to construct, hypothesize, explore, experiment, evaluate and draw conclusions.
The school also hosts Africa’s largest esports arena where students participate in games-based education and the option for competitive gaming.
“The World Economic Forum (WEF) predicts that the most in-demand skills are creativity, negotiation, problem solving, divergent thinking, EQ, decision making and social skills. Through technology-based education – which incorporates all these skills – students are prepared for more than a real-world career, but also equipped with the tools that are essential in daily life and the workplace. Students who matriculate from Centennial Schools will be amongst the most digitally literate students globally.” Fuchs says.