[Press Release] Flexibility and responsiveness more important than digital skills to thrive in the future world

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Flexibility and responsiveness more important than digital skills to thrive in the future world

“Futures of Education” survey shows how people in Hong Kong think Industry 4.0 will change the landscape of education

 

HONG KONG, June 23, 2020 — The UNESCO Hong Kong Association Glocal Peace Centre (The Peace Centre) today announces the findings of its “Futures of Education” Hong Kong survey. A local survey conducted in May 2020, responding to the global “Futures of Education” initiative started by UNESCO. The survey findings highlighted building peace, promoting health and well-being, and continuous learning are the top three purposes of education worldwide in 2050 in the minds of respondents.

Ms. Mitzi Leung, Vice-president of UNESCO HK Association & Co-founder of The Peace Centre said, “UNESCO promotes ‘Building Peace in the Minds of Men and Women’ through cooperation in education. The survey findings form the basis for deliberation at our first ‘Futures of Education’ Forum in Hong Kong, which took place last Saturday.”

Key findings from the ‘Futures of Education” survey:

Purposes of education in 2050 in Hong Kong

Specific to education in Hong Kong, respondents rank social cohesion and atmosphere (Mean=4.25; 81.1% of respondents rated “agree” or “strongly agree”), relationship with the world (Mean=4.24; 82.3%), and environmental protection (Mean=4.2; 81.8%) as the top three issues for Hong Kong’s education to tackle looking to 2050. Other areas that also ranked high are: sustainable employment, scientific innovation, healthcare and legal system.

Impact of Industry 4.0 on the education system

In terms of aspects of the education system affected by Industry 4.0, respondents rank teaching and learning (Mean= 4.32; 84.9%), connection to external learning resources (Mean=4.2; 81.1%) and knowledge production (Mean=4.12; 80%) as the top three areas affected by technological advancement.

Competencies to thrive in the Future

In an increasingly complex and digitalized era, to thrive in the future world, respondents picked the following competencies as the top five: flexibility and responsiveness (Mean=4.45; 88%), creativity and innovation (Mean=4.4; 87.3%), collaboration (Mean=4.39; 86.4%), critical thinking (Mean = 4.37; 83%), and digital skills (Mean=4.28; 85%).

 

The survey was conducted in May 2020. It invited students, parents, policy makers, as well as stakeholders from the education, business and technology sectors from Hong Kong to participate. The online questionnaire surveyed over 540 respondents aged 16 and above.

“Futures of Education” Hong Kong Forum

Detail survey findings were shared at the “Futures of Education – For Industry 4.0 and Beyond” Online Forum (“the Forum”) on June 20, 2020, which received 420 registrations.

Sponsored by the Youth Development Commission and Home Affairs Bureau, and supported by strategic partners and sponsors like The University of Manchester, Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks, Junior Chamber International Hong Kong, and BlueJeans by Verizon, this interdisciplinary forum aims to facilitate discussion and debate, calling the community’s attention to identify aspects of education that will support industry 4.0 and beyond; and collectively contribute to shaping ‘Futures of Education’ for the next generation.

Mr. Eugene Fong, Partnership Engagement Chair of The Peace Centre said, “Thoughtful use of technology will enable educators to overcome many deficiencies in a system that is largely inherited from the Third Industrial Revolution. Past emphases on standardization, efficiency and conformity are becoming irrelevant for the increasingly complex and ambiguous world now and in the future.”

At the forum, renowned academics and innovative industry professionals shared their insights and debated how to shape the futures of education. Speakers and panellists were:

  • Anthony Cheung, GBS, JP
  • Peter Mok, Head of Strategic Partnership, Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation
  • Maggie Koong, BBS, JP, Co-Founder & Chief Principal, Victoria Shanghai Academy
  • Simon Shen, Founder of GLOs, Glocal Learning Offices
  • Arnett Edwards, Prinicpal, Li Po Chun United World College of Hong Kong
  • Dennis Shi, CEO of Mojodomo
  • Spencer Leung, Rotary Peace Fellow, IEP Global Peace Index Ambassador
  • Tommie Lo, Founder & CEO of Preface
  • Victor Kwok, Head of Education and Youth, Our HK Foundation

Professor Anthony Cheung, GBS, JP, keynote speaker for the Forum said, “The pedagogy of the past cannot equip students with the skills and competencies to face and adapt to the

fast-changing world. In the world of new IT, information is power, but some have more information and more power than others. The question we must ask then, is whether we have all tried hard enough to achieve a better balance for the sake of our children and theirs?”

Mr. Dennis Shi, CEO of Mojodomo shared his view that “multi skills are needed to be innovative”, while Mr. Tommie Lo, Founder & CEO of Preface suggested a “scalable education system to move standardized education to a personalized one”.

Professor Samuel Leong, Vice-president of UNESCO HKA & Co-founder of UNESCO HKA Glocal Peace Centre commented at the end of the Forum, “It is important for us to leverage human uniqueness, not only the knowledge and skills, but also attitudes and values, to guide our responsible and ethical actions. Technologies enhance lifestyle and wellbeing, and could be deployed for a sustainable education ecosystem. Let us work together for the Futures of Education, to enable our children and citizens to adapt and strive in whatever the future holds.”

The recording of the Forum and the pre-Forum survey result will be available on http://peacecentre.unesco.org.hk/

 

Picture: Professor Anthony Cheung presenting to audience of the “Futures of Education” Hong Kong Forum online.

 

Picture: Panel discussion on stage at Hong Kong Science Park, streaming to audience live on 20 June 2020.

 

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For media enquiries, please contact:

UNESCO Hong Kong Association Glocal Peace Centre

Email: peace@unesco.hk Phone: (852) 3158 2889

About UNESCO Hong Kong Association and The Glocal Peace Centre

UNESCO Hong Kong Association (UNESCO HKA) is a member of Chinese National Federation of UNESCO Clubs, Centres and Associations. UNESCO HKA is dedicated to facilitating and achieving UNESCO’s mission, creating conditions for dialogue among civilizations, cultures and peoples based upon respect for commonly shared values. Find out more: http://www.unesco.hk/

The Glocal Peace Centre (The Peace Centre) is a project of the UNESCO Hong Kong Association. The Peace Centre was launched in 2018 and is supported by schools and educational institutions, diplomatic corps, international service organizations, community and

business associations, and enterprises. Its annual Peacemakers Cultural Celebration event attracts peacemakers from Mainland China, Macau, India, Europe, and nationals from different countries living in Hong Kong. Find out more: http://peacecentre.unesco.org.hk/en/

About ‘Futures of Education’

UNESCO launched the “Futures of Education” initiative in New York in 2019 to reimagine how knowledge and learning can shape the futures of humanity in a context of increasing complexity, uncertainty and precarity. Looking to 2050 and beyond, the Futures of Education initiative seeks to reimagine how education and knowledge can contribute to the global common good. Find out more: https://en.unesco.org/futuresofeducation/

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