21st Century competencies that prepare your child for the future

Selina D Souza
Dec 15, 2023
Learning, School

In today's digitised world, skills that are pivotal for success in the 21st century extend far beyond what we once learnt in traditional classrooms. To be a successful participant in tomorrow's world, they must be responsible global citizens. They must be able to innovate and use their creative thinking skills to solve challenging problems in unconventional ways. 

Some of the key 21st century competencies are:

● critical thinking, problem-solving skills, creativity, collaboration, communication 

● digital literacy, global citizenship, lifelong learning, leadership skills

● adaptability, resilience, emotional intelligence

● environmental awareness, and a commitment to social responsibility

Graduates, today, need outstanding tech skills, and they must be effective communicators who exhibit compassion, empathy and social awareness. Moreover, they must be team players who excel at collaboration and negotiation. 


Key 21st Century competencies 

In 2020, the World Economic Forum published Schools of the Future: Defining New Models of Education for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. In this white paper, the authors have defined high-quality learning, listing critical skills that prepare students to thrive in a global society. Among them were:

1. Global citizenship skills: Awareness of the real world and its challenges and how to play an active role in finding solutions.

2. Innovation and creativity skills: Innovation, analytical thinking, creative thinking and analysis.

3. Technology skills: Skills, ethics and digital responsibility in an online world.

4. Interpersonal skills: Empathy, compassion, kindness, social awareness and leadership.

5. Problem-based and collaborative learning skills: Peer collaboration and problem-solving.

6. Lifelong learning: Transitioning from a system where learning decreases over one’s lifetime to one where skills upgradation happens throughout one’s lifespan.

Soft skills such as understanding, cooperation and inclusiveness are more important than ever, in today’s global world. 

Tomorrow's leaders must be culturally aware and tolerant of the differences between people. They must expect to take on roles that have not yet been created and communicate with coworkers in other countries. 

And it begins with the quality of education they receive in school.

How GIIS has risen to the challenge

At GIIS Singapore, we're changing the way education takes place. With a shift to student-led learning and 21st-century infrastructure and technology, we're equipping students to take on the challenges of a global society.

Here's how we incorporate these competencies into school life.

Collaborative learning spaces, digital classrooms and skills-based studios

GIIS campuses are designed to be stimulating, transitional, inclusive and inspiring. GIIS SMART Campus classrooms have smart boards, wi-fi connectivity, and audio-visual technology to help collaboration among the students and also with the teachers. 

There are flexible open spaces called ‘Learning commons’ for group collaboration, student presentations, and individual research. Students also have ample spaces to work alone in quiet areas to achieve their individual goals.

Diverse range of international curricula

GIIS offers a full range of curriculum options, the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (IB PYP), the Cambridge Lower Secondary Programme (CLSP), the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE curriculum) and the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP), along with the Indian Central Board curriculum (CBSE).

For early years education, the school offers the award-winning Montessori-inspired kindergarten programme, the Global Montessori Plus (GMP) programme.

All our programmes are designed to help students develop into well-rounded learners at each stage of their education. They are also prepared to adapt easily and excel anywhere in the world, at any institute of higher learning, or as valued members of a global workforce after graduation.

9 GEMS holistic framework

The 9 GEMS holistic education framework adopted at GIIS is designed to produce well-balanced students. By incorporating the 9 GEMS into the school day, GIIS better prepares students to succeed at school as well as later in life. The 9 GEMS include:

1. Academic Excellence

2. Sports Excellence

3. Visual and Performing Arts

4. Personality Development

5. Innovation and Creativity

6. Entrepreneurship and Leadership

7. Universal Values and Ethics

8. Community and Care

9. Skills Development

Through the 9 GEMS framework, students get to explore beyond academics and sports. They get the opportunity to develop skills in a variety of areas to be able to adapt these skills in real-life situations.

Also read: Top trends in education for 2023 and beyond

At GIIS, we believe learning doesn't end when the school day concludes or even as graduation beckons. Instead, it is a lifelong endeavour that's meant to be rewarding,  fulfilling and empowering. Keen to learn more about GIIS advantages for your child? Do book a campus tour today and visit us in person.

Selina D Souza

Selina D'souza is a Senior Communications specialist with 10+ years of marketing communications experience in the B2B and B2C IT and Education sector. She is a passionate curator of good content, believes that schools can be a place of creativity and innovation if the right mindset and practices are adopted, and is always looking for more sustainable lifestyle choices.

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