Over 50% of the current workforce will require reskilling by 2025. Yet the ability to adapt to change and engage in lifelong learning must be developed from an early age. Studies show that early investments in children’s learning and education generate significant economic returns. Thus, investing in the development of holistic skills in primary and secondary education will be critical in addressing the root causes of the worldwide skills gap, preparing the next generation of talent to engage in lifelong learning, and ensuring that future efforts in reskilling and upskilling pay off for individuals, businesses and governments.
The COVID-19 pandemic has both accelerated these trends and massively disrupted learning. It has also cast a new light on existing challenges and inequities within global education systems. There is a unique window for gaining support for fundamentally transforming both the focus of and approaches to learning within primary and secondary education as governments are thinking more seriously about the social implications of the economic recovery and how best to ensure that the next wave of stimulus packages build the foundations of a new inclusive economy.
Education, as an enabler of more dynamic, inclusive and prosperous societies, must form a key part of the “economic” recovery. Such a new approach must put holistic skills and innovative pedagogies at the core of learning and create a more inclusive paradigm that is more closely aligned to the needs of the labour market and societies more broadly.
Based on the framework launched in Schools of the Future: Defining New Models of Education for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the Education 4.0 initiative aims to better prepare the next generation of talent through primary and secondary education transformation. The initiative will drive impact through:
- The development of relevant tools and insights to support the economic case for Education 4.0
- Convening a community of champions, the Education 4.0 Alliance, to advocate for quality childhood education
- Establishing a network of country-level public-private collaborations--Closing the Education Gap Accelerators--to enable the adoption of the Education 4.0 framework