ABU DHABI, U.A.E, Apr 25 – Children starting school now would be better prepared for the post-Fourth Industrial Revolution workplace if they were endowed with social and emotional skills.
A report dubbed “Class of 2030” by McKinsey says only 42 percent of employers believe that today’s graduates are adequately equipped with these attributes.
The report also shows that up to 40 percent of jobs in growth industries required soft skills and that emotional and social attributes were twice as predictive of a student’s academic results as home environment and demographics.
Additionally, More than 98 percent of students expressed a desire for more personalisation in the classroom, as opposed to automation, revealing a need for teachers’ time to be freed up.
Speaking at the ongoing Bett Middle East and Africa summit, Anthony Salcito, Vice President of Worldwide Education at Microsoft, said educational institutes must lead the way in delivering soft-skills training and collaborative, student-centric learning experiences.
“We need to provide more than just technology for our students. We need also need to teach students social skills that will compliment the technological skills they learn at school,” Salcito said.
He was speaking at the sidelines of the ongoing Bett MEA summit at Abu Dhabi in the United Arabs Emirates.
According to the McKinsey report, about half the activities people are paid to do globally could theoretically be automated using currently demonstrated technologies. Very few occupations—less than 5 percent—consist of activities that can be fully automated.
The report, however, finds that in about 60 percent of occupations, at least one-third of the constituent activities could be automated, implying substantial workplace transformations and changes for all workers.
The research also estimates that between almost zero and 30 percent of the hours worked globally could be automated by 2030, depending on the speed of adoption.
“We mainly use the midpoint of our scenario range, which is automation of 15 percent of current activities. Results, however, differ from country to country,” says the report.
“From our standpoint as Microsoft, we feel that technology cannot be downplayed and need to be integrated into the schooling system as much as possible,” Salcito said.
Microsoft 365 and applications such as One Note and Sway have been in use in the United Arabs Emirates in select schools.
Jumeirah English Speaking school (JESS Dubai), as part of their digital transformation journey, rolled out surface pro 4 devices for each of their grade 7 students.
According to the school, the school has also moved to the Microsoft cloud with use of Microsoft Office 365, OneNote 2016, OneDrive, SharePoint Online, Office Mix, Sway and Microsoft Classroom.
In Kenya, the company is working with seven imagine academies to test out some of the applications.