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Core Competencies of 21st Century: An Analysis
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Core Competencies of 21st Century: An Analysis

Learning and innovation go hand in hand. The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow

Post by on Wednesday, June 22, 2022

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“Shikayat Hai Muje Ya Rubb Unn Khudawandan-e-Maktab se

Sabaq Shaheen Bachoun Ko De Rahe hai Khak-Bazi Ka” (Iqbal)


The 21st century is a complex and unforeseeable epoch. Our thinking habits and our values, which until now looked settled, are being challenged. The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn. The only skill that will be important in the 21st century is the skill of learning new skills. Everything else will become obsolete over time. Charles Darwin quotes, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change”. Learning and innovation go hand in hand. The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow.


Students of 21st century have to be smarter, sharper, creative and Practical. We need a change - our classrooms need to change to change our students. It is already late but we have to start from somewhere. Though we can’t go back and change the beginning but we can start where we are to change the ending. Modern world is an embodiment of arenas where one's psychic possessions about hitherto socio-politico -educational requirements ought to be introspected with a fresh and meritorious eye to set the standards of job market at par with human resource development. There shall be a paradigmatic and whirlwind conveyance to smart skills of human resource to keep creativity fighting its own war with orthodoxy in every perception that establishes a tradition of treasure for generations.


A personality of integrity shall reign the situation that encompasses umbrella-challenges. The explicit art that solves the probing questions of life isn't taught but it is a wheel of development where one shall undergo a participative observation of every problem and have a first -hand inference of the situation and thereby it's pack of solutions. We shall be innovative and introspective to the extent of a fundamental duty enshrined in our constitutional directives as well.

What are the 21st century skills for students? In today’s competitive environment students must master a variety of abilities besides studies. Schools have an incredibly important role to assist students in developing the cognitive, interpersonal and intrapersonal skills necessary to compete in the global market place. Some more efforts to condition the students’ mental infrastructure and accordingly zero on effective curriculum can make our future generation compatible and relevant in the 21st global stage.


Some of the skills where our students need our handholding to acquire a free flow in the cut throat competition of future. Thus to develop certain core competencies, students shall be exposed to some of the new challenges outlined as:

Creativity and innovation

For ages we have been working on memory but success lies on the wings of imagination.  The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination. Creativity is thinking up new things and innovation is doing new things. Do one thing every day that scares you.


Critical thinking and Problem solving

Critical thinking and curiosity is the key to creativity. It is ability to recognize and challenge assumptions. Let me give you an interesting critical thinking skill that you will definitely find easy to equip yourself with to master it. It is called “inversion”. Instead of thinking how can you achieve something, think about all the ways in which you can fail, destroy your financial health, relationships or physical fitness. When you think about all the ways that can lead to ruin, you will be much better equipped to avoid them and focus on the ways that can actually get you to the place of your choice in life. It teaches students to properly deal with social, scientific and practical issues. Critical thinking persons are better at solving challenges.


Communication skills

Effective communication skill has a potency to be a game changer in students’ path of success. The only way to improve the communication skill in English is by reading, writing, listening and speaking more in English. Read articles, news papers and blogs to improve your vocabulary and use those same words you learn while you speak. Look for more speaking opportunities like debates, speech contests etc. Find one buddy or family member who you would only speak to in English. Start listening to audio versions of books, podcasts or English movies, talk shows etc. Start writing your personal diary or a journal every day. Write short stories and essays for yourself and get that corrected by your teacher etc. There is only one way to improve English language and that is through practicing it every single day. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.


Leadership Skills

It is critical to learn the art of building relationships within the teams and completing tasks effectively. Leadership skills are skills you use when organizing other people to reach a shared goal.


Collaborative Activities

It is an exercise in which students work cooperatively in pairs or groups. It gives students the ability to share ideas to come up with a combined answer, response or solution about a particular topic or issue. It enables students to accept different dynamics of the situation and accept different points of view and augmenting the personal perception.


Digital Literacy and Technology Skill

The ability to use technology to navigate, evaluate and create information. Students need to be given chance to create with technology, not just to use it. We can’t shy away from the use of technology anymore. If we have to stay relevant to the day today changes of the world, not only the use but creating the technology must be the new normal of schools and parenting in our homes.


Social Responsibility

It emphasizes accepting responsibility for one’s own actions. Every student must accept his responsibility for the actions, be accountable for the results and take ownership of his mistakes. “The moment you take responsibility for everything in your life is the moment you can change anything in your life”. Try your level best to make the world best place to live in. To take care of others, start by taking care of yourself.

In addition to these skills each student requires perseverance, information literacy, media literacy, financial literacy, analytic thinking and accountability. 21st century skills help to ensure students are successful outside the classroom, in real-world scenarios in life.


(The author is presently working as Principal Radiant Public School Anantnag and can be reached upon: tariqmabool15@gmail.com) 

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