Education is one of the major determinants of economic growth in any country; through education, people gain adequate knowledge and skills that are vital in stimulating economic growth (Haugen & Musse, 2009). Additionally, quality education helps people to be creative and innovative, and this plays a key role in finding new ways of conducting various operations, related to economic growth of a country. Therefore, provision of high quality education is a necessity in all countries in order for economic development to be realized. This can only be achieved by designing education systems that provide quality education for all people in the country (Ballantine & Spade, 2012). This is imperative because high quality education enables people to be flexible in the dynamic global knowledge economy.
Despite the role played by education in economic development, there are many challenges facing education systems globally (Rolls, 2007). The challenges facing education systems depend on the economic and political stability and culture of a country. For instance, developed countries have better education systems than developing countries. This implies that the economy of developed countries support quality education system compared to developing countries, where education systems face many challenges. These challenges hinder provision of high quality education, and this contributes to slow economic development.
This paper aims at studying various challenges facing education systems across the globe in the 21st century. There are diverse factors that affect education system and these include economic, political, technological, social and cultural factors (Lipsky & Gartner, 1999). These factors defer from country to country due to the difference in economic and political stability as well as culture of a country. For instance, education system in developing countries is largely affected by the above factors, mostly because of their weak economic stability. Therefore, it becomes hard to offer quality education. This has been the main factor that slows economic development.
In the 21st century, many countries have opted to restructure their education systems, since they play a highly critical role in the ever global knowledge economy. In all countries, education is perceived as the main approach that helps people and nations to achieve economic and social change (Cozic, 2002). In the 21st century, educational institutions have complex tasks to accomplish because they are expected to prepare people for economic independence as well as to make them prepared in the world of work. This is aimed at enabling young people to live gainfully in responsible communities, and help them to live in a culturally diverse, tolerant and rapidly dynamic society.
In other worlds, in the 21st century, education is expected to enable young people to establish lives that have a purpose and meaning in rapidly dynamic global knowledge economy (Guthrie, 2003). As a result, education systems must be designed by reviewing the basic assumptions that characterized education in the past and by identifying new approaches that can make education more effective and beneficial. This will make young people more flexible in the dynamic global environment.
Education is an extremely essential investment with regard to human capital as well as economic growth in the 21st century (Rinehart, 1999). However, one of the main challenges facing the education system in the globe is low expectations of abilities of young people. High expectations are vital in raising morale and self-esteem, as well as motivating people in schools. Low expectations among people in schools are the principal obstacles to creativity and innovation. This implies that young people in the 21st century are increasingly becoming less creative due to low expectations among them.
To address this problem, all countries must design flexible and motivating education systems that provide ample opportunity to creativity and innovation (Stigler & Hiebert, 2000). Additionally, it is imperative to design an education system that recognizes and nurtures different talents of young people in schools. This will enable young people to apply their talents, knowledge and skills in exploring new ways of doing things throughout their education. This will facilitate creativity and innovation which play a significant role in the in the dynamic global knowledge economy in the 21st century. Therefore, achieving this can be perceived as one of the main problems experienced in the education systems across the globe, since it cannot be achieved easily, but it requires commitment from all the parties involved (Rothstein & Jacobsen, 2008).
Therefore, a strong education system in the 21st century must ensure that all young people in schools have high expectations, which they must endeavor to achieve. They must be instilled with adequate knowledge and skills that will enable them to become more creative. This will help them to come up with new ideas on how to execute various tasks in the country. Eventually, this will contribute to economic development of a country as well as making a country adapt and be flexible to the changing global economy.
In the 21st century, economic factors have been the main problems facing education systems in the dynamic global economy. All countries are expected to design education systems that develop young people and instill them with adequate knowledge, skills as well as personal qualities. This is because young people require such skills in the global knowledge economy where work is facing long-term and rapid change (Fuhrman & Elmore, 2004).
In the past, the basic expectation of education was to help young people to obtain jobs after completing their studies (Rotberg, 2004). However, things have changed in the contemporary society because the global economy has drastically changed, and this has led to increased rate of young people who do not get jobs after completing schools. This has been contributed by massive transformations in the pattern and nature of work. As a result, this has been a challenge to the education sector because schools are expected to design education systems that will ensure that young people can obtain jobs in the dynamic global economy.
Nature of work has also been one of the major challenges to the education system in the changing global knowledge economy (Amos, 2010). In the 21st century, the traditional forms of both manual and industrial jobs have undergone radical changes. Many jobs are done using information technology and provide a different kind of services. Although the use of information technology ease the execution of various tasks, over-reliance on the information technology, such as computer technology, hinders creativity and innovation, which in turn translates to slow economic development.
Therefore, this is one of the major challenges in the 21st century, because education systems must be designed in a way that they develop human resources, powers of communication creativity and innovation (Myers & Williams, 1994). This is as a result of persistent need for business ventures to develop a new kind of products and services as well as adapting to the systems of operation and management styles, so as to cope with ever changing market and economic conditions. This is a challenge to the education systems in the 21st century because creative abilities are required in all types of business and levels of work, including tradition trade and manufacturing. Additionally, education is a centre of rapidly expanding and most dynamic areas of the global economies. Therefore, countries in all parts of the globe must endeavor to address this challenge by designing effective education system. This will obviously play a key role in the realization of economic development.
Academic inflation has also been one of economical challenges affecting education system in the 21st century. This is because there are many traditional kinds of works, which undergo constant changes. Therefore, outstanding academic qualifications can no longer guarantee work alone in the 21st century (Wildavsky, 2010). This is due to the fact that there are many people in the society with academic qualifications and due to the transience of many current kinds of work. Therefore, education changes are the nature of work changes. This has been a persistent challenge in the education system in the 21st century due to the fact that education systems must be designed in a way that young people can adapt and cope with the dynamic global economy.
In the 21st century, technology has also been one of considerable challenges affecting education systems across the globe (Spring, 2011). This has been a main challenge, especially in developing nations, since their education does not support adequate technological education due to their weak economic stability. This has been one of the key factors that slow economic growth of such countries, because young people do not have adequate knowledge in information technology, and this makes them less competitive in the job market and dynamic global knowledge economy.
A strong education system must provide young people a competitive advantage in the world economy as well as knowledge, skills and abilities that can help them to prosper and survive in the society. Moreover, countries face a challenge of establishing education that equip young people with creativity, innovation and powers that they require in the rapidly dynamic global economies in the 21st century (Alberta Global Education, 1994). Additionally, education system has provided creativity and discovery to provide young people with tools required to adapt to rapid and constant changes in the forms of work, growth and employment in the global economy in the 21st century.
Therefore, the technological challenge affecting education system in the globe is to help young individuals to prosper in a world that experience rapid evolution of technologies than any other time in the history. In the 21st century, technological changes have been rapid, and have changed the way people communicate, work and think. As a result, education system in all parts of the world should enable students to gain adequate knowledge and skills in the field of information technology. This is because information technology plays a highly critical role in the realization of economic growth in a country, bearing in mind that most operations and tasks are executed through information technology (Tye, 1990).
Therefore, technology has become an enormous challenge in the 21st century due to the fact that all education institutions in all parts of the world must ensure that young people are taught how to use advanced technology while executing various tasks. The process of ensuring that all young people are instilled with skills and knowledge on use of advanced information technology can be an extremely big challenge to governments, especially in the developing countries due to their low economic stability.
Eventually, lack of adequate knowledge on information technology makes young people less competitive in the labor market, and this has an overall effect on the economy of a country. Therefore, all federal governments must endeavor to design education systems that create favorable platform through which young people can gain knowledge and skills that make them flexible to the changing global knowledge economy.
However, despite the need of young people to gain abundant knowledge on new information technologies, sometimes technology can have negative effects on the education system. For instance, young people are currently more keen on what new technology can do for them than being attentive to teachers. This may be a serious challenge in the education systems in the 21st century. This is because many young people prefer to study using new technology, rather than being attentive to teachers (Tye, 1980). This can result to negative effects in the education system, bearing in mind that a teacher plays a key role in directing the action of young people. This helps young people to gain vital skills and adequate knowledge that help them to prosper and adapt to the ever-changing global knowledge economy.
In the 21st century, technology has also affected education system negatively due to the fact that it sometimes hinders creativity among young people. This is because currently many young people depend on information technology in virtually everything they read and research. This is because through new technology they can get whatever they want easily, thus they avoid being creative and innovative. This has many adverse impacts not only on the education system but also on the economic development of many countries across the globe. This is because the realization of economic growth and development can only be realized through creativity and innovation where young people are expected to come up with new and unique ways of doing things.
Therefore, although new technology plays a key role in the education systems across the globe, education professionals have a tough challenge to ensure that new information technologies do not hinder creativity and innovation among young people. This is because many young people are no longer creative due to the constant use of computer technology in solving all problems rather than applying creativity.
The Social Challenge
Social challenge is another factor that affects the education system in different countries across the globe. This is because education is expected to offer forms of education that help young people to participate confidently and positively in processes of cultural and social changes. The effects of technological and economic changes play a significant role in changing the social landscape. To some extent, breaking down of traditional work patterns, especially in manufacturing and heavy industry, has consistently resulted to devastating effects in both social and community lives. As a result of changes in traditional working patterns, unemployment levels have increased drastically. This implies that, although education system in the 21st century plays a vital role in the economic development of a country, it also results to social problems. This is because current education system has eliminated traditional working patterns and these have left many people jobless. This results to many social problems in the society and affects the living standards of people in a country.
On the other hand, scientific and technological advancement, provided in the current education system, affects many areas of the social life. For instance, genetic and fertility developments are consistently changing gender identities and roles. Therefore, social challenge is one of the problems facing education systems in the 21st century, because they should be created in a way that they do not contribute to social problems in the society as well as in the country at large. This implies that, although governments of various countries design education systems with the aim of making young people flexible to the dynamic global economy, they must be vigilant to avoid creating social problems.
Another factor that affects education systems in the 21st century is political factor. In some countries, especially those which experience political instabilities, provision for quality education has been one of the greatest problems. This is because young people do not get ample opportunity to study various ways that can be incorporated in their country towards the realization of economic development.
Additionally, it becomes extremely hard for the government of a country to support young people to get an excellent education in case there is political instability in the country. Therefore, young people do not get adequate skills and knowledge that can help them to be competitive, as well as remaining flexible in the ever changing global economy. Therefore, political factors, such as constant wars, can be serious challenges that affect governments in some countries towards the provision of quality education. This is a challenge because a government of a country is expected to establish a strong education system that provides good education for all young individuals in the country. However, this initiative might be hard to accomplish because a strong education system can only be established in a peaceful nation.
Finally, culture can sometimes become a challenge in the provision of quality education to young people towards the attainment of economic development and helping them to adapt to the dynamic global knowledge economy. In some countries, especially developing countries, cultural beliefs deny young people a chance to gain high quality education. Despite the efforts of governments of various countries to design an education system that would help young people to adapt to the dynamic global economy, it is a big challenge because some cultures may not support government initiative. This is an enormous challenge in some countries, because a government must design an education system that will accommodate young people`s cultural beliefs so as to make them more creative, innovative and skillful. This is vital because it contributes to economic development of a country, helping the young people to adapt to the changing global knowledge economy.