COMMENT:

I've always believed the school system we're sending our kids through is antiquated and needs to evolve to be more diverse and relevant.

Now I see a co-author of a book titled, 'Don't worry about the robots: How to survive and thrive in the new world of work' is saying largely the same thing.

Jo Cribb says we need to stop asking kids at 16 what they want to do with their life, and stressing about their NCEA results, and instead start looking at what they'll really need to have successful careers.

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Are standardised test results it? Not always - and not for everyone.

Cribb says more and more research is questioning how well we're preparing young people for their futures.

She cites "the Foundation for Young Australians, which recently completed an analysis of 4.2 million job ads and found that employers were increasingly looking for what they called 'enterprise' skills".

That's critical thinkers and people with creativity and presentation skills, problem solvers and team players.

Technical skills relating to how to actually do the job were less important, because employers believed good people can learn as they go.

The World Economic Forum has also identified what the 21st century workforce needs to be successful.

Again, it's creativity, the ability to collaborate, communicate, think critically, show initiative and have sheer grit.

So why are we still so obsessively focusing on standardised testing and blanket mainstream subjects?

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Are we within our education system, still using a sledgehammer to crack a nut?
Why are we still treating everyone like they're the same, or need to swallow and regurgitate the same theories?

Are we trapping the creative and the entrepreneurial inside a uniform conveyor belt of learning, which squashes their spirit and their creativity?

It's hard to explain to teenagers in the grips of the system and our method of ranking it, NCEA, that actually by the time they're even 20 it won't count for much.

Not many people ask an adult what they got in Level 2 Maths.

Yes it's the highway to further learning and tertiary study, and yes that's important for many kids who're taking that academic route, but are there enough options available for those who aren't?

And given we probably don't even know now half the jobs that'll be available for our kids in the future doesn't broadening their skill set make sense?

Teaching kids to think for themselves, to problem solve, to be curious - these are the things that surely will provide them scope long term across a broad brush of career opportunities.

Perhaps more so than whether they got 60 per cent in a standardised NCEA History test.