The New Class

I have been working in the corporate world for more than 15 years now. I have been in the IT industry for about 12 years. I did not take up an IT-related course in college. In fact, I graduated with a BS Community Development degree.

If there is one thing I learned since I graduated and joined the real world, what you take up in college, does not necessarily end up to be your profession. Your interests may change as you grow older and truly experience life. So many adults are still confused about what they want to be at my age. How would you expect a 17-year old university freshman to know for sure that he or she wants to be an engineer or a doctor or a lawyer? When I applied for college, in my heart I wanted to take up psychology. However, I was encouraged to go into engineering and it sounded cooler. My application form had so many erasures because I changed it so many times. Engineering vs Psychology. Like I said, I ended up with a degree in neither.

With little nieces now, I am starting to think about what school might be like for them. Maxene would have been a first grader now if she did not leave us. For the younger ones, I just hope that their generation’s education equips them with the attitude and skills they need to grow into good human beings.

Back in elementary school, we learned about History, Math, Science, English, Filipino, Social Studies, Music, Reading, Writing and Geography, Physical Education and Religion. At least those were the subjects I remember. Even in high school, we still had the same core subjects except that we had more science and math subjects like Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Statistics, Algebra, Geometry and Trigonometry. All of which I hated and was no good.

I read an article from World Economic Forum about changing school curriculum to adapt to current times. It said schools should teach the curriculum of the future, not of the past. I don’t know much about creating a curriculum, but based on what I know now about life, I would probably add and subtract to what children should learn in school. Our present needs are different than 30 years ago. There should be more focus now on technology, innovation, financial literacy and how to save our planet. I’ll try to elaborate in the next few sections.

Science & Technology

Let’s get real. Technology drives the present world. It’s all about artificial intelligence, automation, machine learning and coding these days. Even in my profession, robotics and automation has become the key strategy. In every profession known to man, technology plays a key role. From elementary school to high school, science and technology should be part of the core curriculum. The future generation needs to understand, and be able to create, modify or upgrade technology to further benefit our world. The Philippines has a lot of brilliant minds, but we lack government support. If only we can have stronger science and technology programs, I’m sure we can compete with Singapore, South Korea or Japan.

Financial Literacy

So many Filipinos do not know how to handle finances. A lot of us live from paycheck to paycheck and uncertainty. I think financial literacy should start as soon as children enter school. Two of my friends even wrote books on managing personal finances and money habits. They are “Money Grows on Trees” and “I Wish They Taught Money in High School”. I will give those as gifts to my niece when they start school.

Conservation

We are in danger from our own mismanagement of natural resources. All the advancement in our way of life has resulted in bad consequences for our planet. The future generation must focus on saving the environment and hopefully prevents further loss and damage to our natural resources.

Mental Health

I know it’s probably weird. But, now that the world is more open to mental health and well-being, we need to pay more attention. I’ve often heard kids are so stressed out these days because of too much demand with school work. Children should be given just the right pressure while also being taught with stress management.

Other than this, I would retain History, Creative Arts like music and writing. After all, creating something comes from the imagination. Science and technology will not have prospered without the dreamers and imagination.

Maybe it’s time to let go of too much math? I think Math is still a good training ground for problem solving and analysis. However, I still don’t get why we had to go through those calculus lessons when I don’t use it in real life. Those should be confined to students who eventually take up engineering and related higher education.

If we had my special curriculum when I started school, my co-millennials would probably be better at our games. We would never know now.

There has been many campaigns about changing school curricula around the world. Everyone agrees there is a need to adapt to the present way of life. I surely hope to see children learn more through a curriculum of the future instead of the past.

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