Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.
Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter
Four basic soft skills are required for children to adjust greatly to the growing demands of life.
These are “creativity, critical thinking, teamwork and communication which brings about “analytical thinking, innovation, problem-solving, active learning, creative thinking, originality and leadership.”
These were from Gareth Newman, the English teacher responsible for the adult education programs in Thailand and South Korea through the British Council. He believes that communication skills can open doors and break down barriers.
The British Council UAE-English Language Services director explained: “English alone is no longer enough to prepare today’s children for the job market ahead of them. According to the World Economic Forum, as the future workplace becomes more automated, human soft skills such as creativity, critical thinking, communication and collaboration will be crucial for the success of the next generation of professionals.”
“Looking ahead, what will set humans apart from machines are soft-skills developed through life-learning and dynamic interaction.”
He described “analytical thinking, innovation, problem solving, active learning as well as creative thinking, initiative, originality and leadership,” as the “value-creating attributes businesses will seek more in prospective employees.”
Newman pointed out that parents have a major role in their children’s “learning journey” which includes “language building.”
Newman was interviewed as the UAE Ministry of Education announced a fortnight back the implementation of the “My Optimum Time” in 256 public schools in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
The initiative is the “No Homework” policy in order than pupils will have more free time to guided personal growth and development programs.
On the fundamentality of critical thinking against the rote memory which some educational systems across the world deliver, Newman said: “Critical thinking is essential because it prepares children to think objectively and rationally about an idea and understand how to build a logical conclusion.”
“Rather than accepting and offering a text and book answer, this enables a person to enquire, question and challenge assumptions in a positive manner. Encouraging children to have critical thinking natural to them will prepare them for future problem solving and teach them how to break down complex issues.
Critical thinking consequently leads to creative thinking vital to innovation, significant in today’s environments.
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"It was nothing short of a miracle and the realisation of an impossible dream. We thank the UAE for their great support in arranging the reunion. This is an example of the UAE’s humanitarian approach, as well as of its noble values of tolerance and coexistence," they stressed, adding that it is a model for the whole world to emulate.