The Most Powerful Weapon

Ever since my son was born, it’s made me look at the world in a different way, and question everything, especially the way the whole school system works. Schools seem to be determined to constrain unique young minds into a pre-determined shape that best fits in The Machine. Also known as “preparing the future generation for the productive job market”. The first problem is that 90% of the jobs that our kids will get into haven’t even been invented yet… The traditional education system is based on a 100 year old view of the world and hasn’t changed much since then.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”

Such a powerful statement. But when you look at South Africa you can only wonder if the weapon is in the wrong hands. It is a complex situation, with the legacy of apartheid and a highly politicised fight over who is responsible for fixing it. (A good summary from an outside source)

But if education is the solution to changing the country, and I believe it is, then we really need to change the way schools work. Fundamentally.

One country that seems to have figured out how to revolutionise the education system on a national scale is Finland.

Every year, Finland consistently ranks at the top in the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment. Unlike other high performing countries, which take a more traditional approach to education and are extremely test-driven, Finland has succeeded using some very unusual methods: No homework, no exams, 75 minutes of recess, teachers staying with the same students for five years, and requiring a Masters degree to enter the teaching profession.

When I heard about this entrepreneurial trip to Finland for South African start-ups in the Education Sector, I jumped at the chance to help promote it.

There are so many great educators in this country, and around the world that are breaking the mould of what an education is and how we learn and adapt to an ever changing world. The future of our country is in the hands of these innovators and entrepreneurs. People that know first hand what it takes to survive in the new Gig Economy, the Sharing Economy, and are willing to find solutions that work, even if they break from tradition.

If you are one of them, I would encourage you to jump on the opportunity. My motives are selfish - I really believe you are the “weapon” that can change the system for my son, and for the country, and with time perhaps the rest of the world will be coming to us to get educational advice…

This post was sponsored by en-novate, but the opinions are my own.