As we grow up we are taught what success is and we are constantly shown what the cornerstone of success looks like – money, influence, power, fame, intelligence. For example, in university GPA acts as a proxy of how successful you were in learning and for top companies it depicts ones next opportunities or the prediction of the quality of life you may or may not have. Yet GPA is far from being an indication of how valuable your contribution will be to society. Grades do not tell the full learning story. However, like the hen and the egg theory one might argue that a good GPA is an indicator of hard work and achievement – whereas in essence its a good learning experience coupled with resilience that should result in a good GPA.

Children grow up feeling the pressure of making it – where many from disadvantaged backgrounds feel they have one shot to make it. More than ever, now is the time to start leveling the equal opportunity ground and ensuring all children from all backgrounds have not only a chance, but chances – and chances beyond the educational grade schemes – it is not about reading and writing anymore. It is about engaging all backgrounds of children in the full learning experience. It must start being about the learning experience. The learning experience and curve must be the proxy to an enjoyable success journey vs the traditional cornerstones used as success pedal stones.

What then is this learning experience? – I am speaking of activities that do not use the traditional statistical grades as indicators of success. The future of learning should create or increase opportunities for young people from all backgrounds to partcipate in activities that build essential life skills for todays leaders. The 21st century should incorporate more educational models that value empowerment of students to be successful in shaping the world today and not a theoretical successful world of tomorrow. We must engage all young people in crucial day to day world scenarios that range from industry to politics today and reduce the amount of time children have to sit in classes to bottle up theories and models that should be challenged today.

“The only way to increase the number of leaders – innovators, engineers or philosophers, who can shape the future is to engage young people in a more dynamic hands on learning experience  TODAY”

Hence, instead of using the model of investing in numbers when it comes to human resources – because people are not objects we should rather use resistance and impact as new proxies of educational investments. The engagement and impact of young people in todays world in realtime problem solving tasks would be the best proxies that indicate the future standard/quality of life for the young generation.

I believe consistently believing in young people’s capabilities to learn early on about the real world while using modified learning models pushes us a step ahead – especially in developing countries were we need young people ( who make up the largest population in developing countries ) to lead today.

School children raising their hands in class

Picture @GETTY IMAGES