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The need for curriculum change


I was struck by a remark made by Anjuli Pandit towards the end of yesterday’s opening debate on the climate emergency at Tonbridge Talks. In answer to a question about student-led activism, and how this positions students, their teachers and school communities, she went further than the usual binary arguments about striking students displaying a ‘lazy’ or misplaced attitude by taking time out of school to protest at government inaction.


‘There is a serious crisis in education,’ she said, and she was not referring to students taking to the streets. ‘We need to engage in the hard and emotional process of changing the curriculum that our students are studying. Do we really think we are preparing them sufficiently for the world of AI and machine learning that is going to dramatically change the how we work within the next decade? The curriculum is lagging behind our real-world problems, and we are not keeping pace. We need to break the fear that one solution will not be enough. We need to learn from people like the African Leadership University (ALU) where they study problems that need solving now -like traffic in Nairobi- for four years.


I leave you with a quote from the ALU website. I’d love to you know what you make of it:


‘It’s no secret that machines and computers are becoming better than humans at things that used to require academic knowledge. That’s why in the future, human traits like imagination, creativity, entrepreneurship, and empathy will be more important than basic facts and figures. In order to “future-proof” graduates, we consider these traits to be fundamental skills, not by-products of education. At ALU, they’re in the DNA of everything we do—a certainty in an uncertain world.’



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