Education and the Economy
Global economy today is knowledge-driven, and this means that access to quality education and the economic agenda go hand in hand. This means that quality education at all levels ought to be improved if economic development, which is one of Millennium Development Goals, is to be achieved. To have education systems support an economic agenda or prepare people for the job force rather than thinking critically, implementation of career and technical education (CTE) programs is important (Sahlberg, 2006). CTE programs will emphasize public and private partnerships between employers and educators, which will ensure that what is learned in schools is more economically relevant than expanding on learners’ critical thinking capabilities. Besides, these programs can allow the restructuring of classroom experiences as well as course content, and the result will be a seamless link between education and the job force or careers. Such a program is underway, and there is a collaboration between IBM and New York City Schools with the focus on the implementation of a program known as Technology Early College High School (P-TECH). More of these programs should be implemented to see education systems prepare people for the job force rather than preparing them to think critically.
The achievement of the mentioned objective also relies on the adoption of a new approach to professional apprenticeships that will link education to the job force. Organizations and companies should offer more off-campus jobs that are connected to the academic majors of students and their intended careers (Resource & Guide, 2008). Cafeteria work, which is common in the US today after completion of high school education, should be replaced by meaningful professional apprenticeships in private, public, as well as nonprofit sectors. While creating the off-campus jobs, the focus should be on building skills rather than providing funds to pay for tuition.
Resource, A., & Guide, P. (2008). 21st century skills, education & competitiveness. Retrieved from http://wieettassessment.pbworks.com/f/21stCenturySkillsEducationandCompetitivenessGuide.pdf
Sahlberg, P. (2006). Education reform for raising economic competitiveness. Journal of Educational Change, 7(4), 259-287.