Contemporary youths and their pursuit of 21st century education

  • By Dr. Aung Aung Min
  • 21st century education 30 638 copyWith advancements in technology, many countries around the globe have seen remarkable educational expansion and fields of study in the 21st century. Young adults need to pursue their studies from their primary education to university-level learning in order to get a decent education.
    Generally speaking, it is true that education indeed increases the chances and potential in finding better and more satisfying jobs, resulting in better income and being successful in life. Learning can enhance the understanding of the world, provide us with more and better opportunities and improve our quality of life.
    A young man cannot stand on his own feet without proper education or any relevant profession of his own. Education is the prime capital which the whole world values. One can go far in their life only if they resort to their diligence and industry, based on the combination of working experience, thereby, they can expand their boundary of knowledge and wisdom. The more knowledge we get, the easier we can enter the sphere of education. Learning from text books is one thing and no amount of learning in classroom can substitute the practical experience. It is no doubt that experience is the best teacher in our real life. Moreover, reading can broaden the outlook of our life.

    Activity versus intellect
    Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, value and habits. Activity and intellect play important roles in this knowledge age. Another thing to note is that education is commonly divided into such stages as preschool, secondary school and then college, university, or apprenticeship. Intelligence is therefore an internal force that governs our capacities and limitations in acquiring skills in different areas.

  • 21st century educator skills copy

Youths’ talent and philosophy
Charles Darwin is often credited with coining the phrase — “The survival of the fittest”. However, such attribution is proved to be wrong in this age. In Darwinian terms, the phrase is best understood as, “Survival of this form will leave the most copies of itself in successive generations.” In our 21st century, no one can deny the fact that knowledge is better than pure, brute physical strength. Over the next decade and beyond, if we are to produce outstanding young adults in our country, they can contribute more to the interests of the country. Although the majority of the young adults know how to dream big, they are weak in fulfilling their dreams. Only those who have a burning desire, including indulgence and thirst for knowledge, can materialize their big dreams in reality.
In the 21st century, anthropologists regard Generation Y (born during the 1980s and early 1990s) as distinct, possessing different ideas and attitudes from those of their parents. Generation Y grew up with technology, and they rely on it to perform their jobs better. They like to communicate through email, text messaging, and whatever new social media platform (i.e., Twitter, Instagram, etc.) their peers and colleagues are using. This is a generation that can’t even imagine a world without the internet or cell phones.

Youths, ethics and discipline
It is found that the majority of young adults, who were born after 1988, have high aims and a sense of commitment, but they are weak in keeping their conduct, ethics and discipline. Though they tend to obey their elders and parents, they don’t like being controlled by others. Moreover, they possess a nature of free will, passing bold decisions. But they need to love and appreciate the value of truth. As for the parents, they should leave a legacy of knowledge and wisdom for their new generation. It is of crucial importance for the young adults to abide by ethics and be disciplined, so that they can make a thorough decision on what is right and wrong.

Young professionals
We should empower young adults to the right of ownership of their own learning. In order to keep abreast with the times, they manage to attend computer training courses, IT courses, business classes, foreign language classes, and so on. They should possess the right career that matches up with their hobbies and talents so as to increase their chance of mastering it. Moreover, they should be fully aware that they are masters of their own destiny, and their success solely depends upon their determination to seize the opportunities that are presented to them.
As for the authorities concerned, efforts should be made to create opportunities for this generation by conducting vocational training classes, assembling material resources for teachers, and locating employment

opportunities with affordable salaries. Young adults tend to upgrade their professional level of vocational education due to the increasing demand by employers in various fields.

Youths of today and 21st century education
With the support of government entities, efforts are being made to open many vocational training schools across the country, aiming to focus on developing the creativity of young adults. Authorities concerned should be supportive of innovation and entrepreneurship demonstrated by youths, so that they would not only come to study in the respective colleges and universities but would stay to enrich these institutions with their talent and industry.
Thanks to globalization and information technology (IT), many rapid advances have been made to meet the requirements of human activities. Yet, there are still many challenges in the path to educational changes. Young adults should take up their respective professions relating to information technology, language proficiency skills and soft skills. Soft skills, on the other hand, are interpersonal skills, which include communication skills, listening skills, creative thinking, work ethics, teamwork, networking, decision-making, positivity and empathy.
There are many emerging challenges of the 21st century, a century that will be an era of knowledge, information and communication. Globalization and the revolution in information and communication technology have signaled the need for a new human-centered development. All young adults are in need of pursuing an integral component of lifelong learning that has a crucial role to play in this new era as an effective tool to enhance their living standard.
As for authorities concerned, it is time to improve investment in education and its related vocation training centres, where we can create enabling environment for youths to prosper, fulfill their potential and engage as responsible social actors.

Translated by Win Ko Ko Aung

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