Education Action Manual
How can we make our children fit for the future? What do they need to learn at school and universities in the new age of AI, competing with smarter machines? Which unique knowledge is necessary for an effective education system in the 21st century, making children happy, content and healthy as well? An education revolution is needed. We will show how it can work.

How can we make our children fit for the future? What do they need to learn at school and universities in the new age of AI, competing with smarter machines? Which unique knowledge is necessary for an effective education system in the 21st century, making children happy, content and healthy as well? An education revolution is needed. We will show how it can work.

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

1. Challenges

2. Facts & Numbers

3. Best Practices

1 - CHALLENGES

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2 - FACTS & NUMBERS

300,000
A lack of 300,000 teachers in the U.S.
76,000
A lack of 76,000 teachers in Germany in school year 2035, now 790,000 teachers active
197,000,000,000
$ needed in the U.S. for repairs, renovations, and modernization, or $4.5 million per school

What are the main problems in education?

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3 - BEST PRACTICES

Singapore – The Global Champion

Over many years its education system has proven to be one of the best, according to PISA. In 2023, Singapore ranked second (score 556.3), after the PR of China (578.7).

Singapore provides best practice when it comes to learning the global communication language English, the knowledge base for the internet and AI age. As early as 1987, English was officially introduced as the first language to learn and teach in all main subjects. Mandarin, Malay and Tamil are  official local languages as well, but only used in classes for these mother languages and in literature.

In 2020, Singaporean students made up half of the perfect scorers in the International Baccalaureate (IB) examinations worldwide.

The mission and vision statements of the Ministry of Education (MOE) are impressive :

“The mission of MOE is to mold the future of our nation by molding the people who will determine our future.

The wealth of a nation lies in its people – their commitment to country and community, their willingness to strive and persevere, their ability to think, achieve and excel. How we raise our young at home and teach them in school will shape our society in the next generation. Our future depends on the continuous renewal and regeneration of our leadership and citizenry, building upon the experience of the past, learning from the circumstances of the present, and preparing to seize the opportunities of the future.

To achieve our mission, MOE will provide our children with a balanced and well-rounded education, develop them to their full potential, and nurture them into lifelong learners and good citizens, conscious of their responsibilities to family, community and country.

Our Vision

MOE’s vision of “Thinking Schools, Learning Nation” (TSLN) was first announced by then-Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong in 1997.

This vision describes a nation of thinking and committed citizens capable of seizing future opportunities, and an education system ready to ride the waves of change in the 21st century.

Thinking Schools are learning organisations in every sense, constantly challenging assumptions, and seeking better ways of doing things through participation, creativity and innovation. Thinking Schools are the cradle of thinking students as well as thinking adults. This spirit of learning should accompany our students throughout their lives, even after they have graduated from the system.

A Learning Nation envisions a national culture and social environment that promotes lifelong learning in our people. The capacity of Singaporeans to continually learn, both for professional development and for personal enrichment, will determine our collective success as a society and nation.”

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4 - GOLDEN GLOBAL CHAMPIONS

Estonia ★★★

This small Baltic EU country shows how it works in a democracy: It ranks first in the PISA test in Europe. Globally third spot (score 525.3), after China (578.7) and Singapore (556.3) in 2023.

Modern education system with competition of schools and much freedom for teachers. The school quality is excellent. All offer electronic solutions. Every school is online. Computers are available in all classrooms.

 

Singapore ★★★

Over many years Singapore´s education system has been ranking as one of the best, according to PISA. In 2023, Singapore ranked second spot (score 556.3), after PR China (578.7).

Singapore is best practice when it comes to learn the global communication language English, the knowledgebase for the internet and AI age. As early as  1987, English was officially designed as the first language to learn and teach in all main subjects.

 

United Arab Emirates ★★★

On the fast track in education. With many modern schools and universities. Training of happiness.

217 International Schools. Six universities featured within the QS World University Rankings and a further eight included in the 2023 edition of the QS Arab Region University Rankings.

 

Denmark ★★★

In the world´s second happiest country the educational model has been drastically changed. The focus is on the child’s education as a personality in its own right, rather than on retrievable knowledge.

Green School ★★, Whittle School ★★, Prisma ★★

Top private innovative schools.

 

Volkshochschulen (Germany) ★★

Modern concept of education for seniors. Supporting life-long learning and public knowledge.

Top universities, like Oxford ★, Cambridge ★, Stanford ★, University of California ★, Yale ★, MIT ★, Princeton ★, Georgetown ★, ETH Zürich ★, Berkeley ★, Oxford ★, Johns Hopkins ★ or the London School of Economics ★.

These classical top universities continue to hold a leading position in higher education.

In Arts and Humanities, the universities of Oxford, Harvard, Cambridge, University of California, Stanford and Yale occupy the top positions. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford, Cambridge, ETH Zurich, Berkeley and Oxford lead the Engineering and Technology segment.

Harvard, Oxford, Cambridge, Stanford and Johns Hopkins are at the top of the Life Science and Medicine rankings.

In Natural Science, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard, Stanford, Cambridge, Oxford hold top rankings.

In Social Science and Management Harvard, London School of Economics, Stanford, Oxford and Cambridge are top performers.

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5 - ACTION PLAN

What to do?
1. Education Revolution needed

Education policy makers and bureaucracies continue to strive for uniformity and comparability of performance – the Pisa studies being their gold standard. In the new dynamic world, this is too bureaucratic, too academic and too rigid.

Overloads of exam knowledge, which is hardly memorized for long, is nonsense and counterproductive. Universities ought to focus on both specialization and significantly streamlining the curricula.

Schools and universities should produce happy, creative, cosmopolitan, and self-confident pupils and students.

A suitable subject would be “Happiness-Learning” dealing with empathy, tolerance and life skills. In addition, employing Teachers for Happiness as contact persons, following the example at Zayed University in Abu Dhabi. In the United Kingdom, mindfulness is taught as a supplement to digital training.

Albert Einstein emphasized preached:

“We cannot solve the problems on the same level where we have created them.”

Politicians love their Sunday speeches to talk about “the great importance of good education”. Often merely rhetoric, no deeds, few actions.

This is an education catastrophe. A multiple failure.

The lack of innovation and future viability in education is a great sin against our children and our national interest in the midst of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

We cannot continue the outdated educational methods of the past 30 years. .

If we do, we will lose.

What is needed is structured, modern learning.

We must invest in our children and societies.

We need an education revolution.

 

Using the best practices from all over the world, the Golden Global Champions. Learn from Singapore and Estonia.

 

In view of the digital revolution, policymakers must revolutionise the entire education process from kindergarten to college graduation encompassing lifelong learning as well as useful skills.

De-ideologisation is imperative. All prejudices and blinkers must be discarded.

 

Diversity, individuality and acquiring useful knowledge and qualifications are the three core elements of Education 4.0.

 

Much more funding is needed for educational institutions and digital learning.

2. No Short-Term Knowledge Silos any more

Stop the overload of teaching material – memorizing knowledge for the next exam forgotten after a few weeks.

Stop training our children as short-term knowledge silos.

Google and AI can do better.

We need a better use of digital tools for research and know-how of basic facts in politics, history or art. To be accomplished by private research.

Shouldn’t we radically adapt knowledge transfer with new methods and make better use of the time available for other activities?

3. Pupils must find what they love - Diversity and Individual Promotion.

Should all students learn the same thing? In a schematic manner, as practiced in military training. Why is there not more diversity in schools? More individuality, each according to his or her own possibilities? Not only in the choice of subjects, but a truly individual promotion of each pupil according to his or her talents and abilities.

Why should a future master baker also learn physics? Shouldn’t schools, like modern assessment centres, determine each pupil’s strengths and support them individually? Testimonials as support in everyday life. These could reveal how each pupil can put his or her strengths and wishes into practice. Instead of mere evaluation, pupils need active and individual support.

Which professions have a chance in the dawning Fourth Industrial Revolution? What do young people have to learn? Do we take this into account when planning our schools today?

Aren’t we wasting an incredible amount of human capital and also producing unhappy pupils if schools only sift out the best and leave the weak behind, instead of promoting everyone individually according to ability? That applies both to future baker masters and highly gifted physicists.

Every child and young individual should be able to develop the best of his or her ability. The world needs new geniuses like Steve Jobs as the gold dust of progress. We need young people with strong personalities, mentally stable, with a good character and courage, who are willing to perform and are happy too. How can this be achieved?

Apple founder Steve Case described the educational goal well in his 2005 Stanford speech: “You have to find something you love.”

Above all, children must recognise what they enjoy doing and where their strong points lie.

This must become the center of all education.

We should – like in the Human Resources Department of a company – focus on each pupil with an individual development plan from kindergarten to college graduation. Helping the individual student, supporting him or her to attain peak performance or joy in normal jobs. This broad overall support and individual coaching must become the new focus of education. The objective lies in developing children’s qualities as well as their undiscovered strengths.

This also provides better educational opportunities for those pupils receiving little support at home.

Because children and adolescents are so different, educational provision must offer maximum diversity rather than uniformity and egalitarianism. Primary school should be followed by specialised secondary schools and elite institutes. We do not need mediocrity, but the best talents for the future. In addition, healthy and happy children.

Future education requires a departure from the ideological mantra that everyone should go to the same classes and higher schools.

Not everyone feels they are in a good place at a secondary school or university. He or she is overwhelmed – is that desirable?

Individual support after primary school, coupled with internships and the use of digital possibilities, should become the rule. A variety of different public and private schools and educational opportunities would pro- vide an appropriate basis.

In Denmark, the second happiest country in the world, the educational model has been drastically changed. The focus is on the child’s education as a personality in its own right, rather than on retrievable knowledge. In classes of one hour a week, children between 6 and 16 years of age also learn empathy as well as understanding other people. They describe their problems and listen to their classmates learning how to resolve difficult situations creatively and practically.

4. Individual support for the less talented students.

The education system often fails promoting the weakest.

The portion of young people without a lower secondary school certificate has increased.

Sifting out the less talented is inhumane and a waste of potential.

We must also pay more attention to the lower-performance pupils with an individual learning plan.

Because we need them in less academic jobs.

They can also be happy there.

A good waiter or painter is no less valuable than a sociologist. We have to value non-academics much more and distance ourselves from academic conceit.

5. Learning from early childhood education to adult education centers.

Early childhood education is very important setting it on a decisive course. We should set up the respective infrastructure everywhere. The Kinder Künste Zentrum in Berlin is exemplary. There the little ones do handicrafts and paint with young artists (kinder-kuenste-zentrum.de).

Adult Education Centers (called Volkshochschulen) have been in existence in Germany for 100 years. It is a global best practice. Adult education is inexpensive. Why not introduce this successful model to the whole world?  With practice-oriented, subsequent education for all.

6. Creativity training the Golden Key.

The new focus in all subjects must be to become creative. To find out, develop, cooperate, invent. Not to know, but to discover.

7. What do students need to learn in the age of AI, international networks and global competition?

Every student should be able to read, write and calculate well.

This is necessary basic knowledge.

You must have a perfect command of your native mother language, both written and spoken.

 

Find out what you love to do (Steve Jobs).

This is the new Golden Key of Education.

If you are a genius (like Jobs or Einstein) or not-so-talented and become a happy craftsman, baker or salesman.

This needs room for individuality and mentorship programs.

Education is successful when a student is excellent in just one field.

 

Creativity is key today in the age of AI.

But students do not learn this very important skill at schools.

Creativity tasks must be integrated in all classes and subjects.

A paradigm shift from short-term memory to life-long creativity.

According to Albert Einstein:

“Creativity is more important than knowledge.”

Where and how do you learn creativity best?

In active small groups, such as art projects or theater. With music lessons. With research in the forest or social activities. With internships. Writing a first book about an interesting subject. So away from the gray theory and into creative co-working sessions.

 

Very good English is the gateway to the digital world and well- paid professions at home and abroad, is indispensable.

Languages are the gateway to the world. English is key to the world wide web. Therefore, all children from the third grade onwards must learn good English.

For a while, Chinese lessons for children were in vogue. That has become outdated. Deepl.com and other translation services do it better today in seconds with AI.

 

Young people need to have a good command of digital media and AI, preferably learning programming, which includes mathematics.

 

Mental and physical fitness, health and social skills (like tolerance, respect, kindness and good behavior) are most important and need training in schools as well to promote a sound new generation. They do not learn enough at home.

Happiness should therefore be introduced as a subject from the first grade onwards once a week.

This should also include lectures on the classic philosophers of happiness, such as Aristotle, Epicurus, Epictetus, Confucius or Buddha. Using the Global Golden Nuggets of Happiness.

Aristotle is modern and up to date. He rightly describes "the goal that all people strive for is happiness. People will do anything for this. Happiness is at the end of the hierarchical pyramid of human thoughts and actions. There is no higher goal". He promoted a happy life, based on physical and mental well-being and avoiding extreme positions. Eudaimonia as the pinnacle of human endeavor.

 

Epicurus argued that a happy life needs ataraxia and aponia, which means absence of mental (fear, worry, distress) and physical bodily pains. Living without the negative energies of problems in tranquility and harmony. Enjoy your life with much pleasure (hedonism), but better in a simple way of life, and you are happy.

 

Epictetus demanded to find a good purpose in your life. Accepting

and enduring the ups and downs with stoic calm. Do not complain. The British adopted and modified it later as ‘Keep calm and carry on.”

 

The thinking of Buddha is best represented today by The Dalai Lama. We met His Holiness three times to discuss happy life. He always answered with this canon of these old Buddhist wisdom:

“My religion is very simple. My religion is politeness. Our minds and hearts are our temples.

Happiness comes from spiritual qualities like love or tolerance. It does not come about of its own accord. You have to create happiness with your actions. Very important is a positive inner attitude, a good heart. From this comes happiness and satisfaction for yourself and others. Love and compass- ion are not luxuries but necessities. Without them humanity cannot survive. Help others. Be polite. Practice compassion. We must overcome moral relativism, leave the vacuum of indifference and neutralise the poison of hatred.”

He preached many times and repeated:

 

“Love, compassion, and tolerance are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.

 

The essence of all religions is love, compassion, and tolerance.

Kindness is my true religion. No matter whether you are learned or not, whether you believe in the next life or not, whether you believe in God or Buddha or some other religion or not, in day-to-day life you must be a kind person.

When you are motivated by kindness, it doesn't matter whether you are a practitioner, a lawyer, a politician, an administrator, a worker, or an engineer: whatever your profession or field, deep down you are a kind person.

Love, compassion, and tolerance are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.

 

If you have a particular faith or religion, that is good. But you can survive without it if you have love, compassion, and tolerance.

 

The clear proof of a person's love of God is if that person genuinely shows love to fellow human being.”

 

Much more practical education which can be used in the job.

Too many schools have still civil servants as the goal of their higher education, too few clever entrepreneurs.

 

Students are trained how to do research and write top-notch academic papers. But later maybe 90 percent do not work in science. Now Google and AI help to research as well in our new world. This focus does not make sense anymore. Because most careers are later based on praxis, practical skills and competencies are a must learn today. We need much more practical education which can be used in the job.

 

Since both well-paid work and the overall prosperity of a country depend on a functioning economy, this must be integrated much more positively into lessons and internships.

 

 

All schools must grant these basic tasks the highest priority, or they will fail.

8. Integrate the Golden Global Champions

Why should only teachers work at schools?

Today every student can benefit from top performers’ online courses worldwide assembling Nobel Prize winners, entrepreneurs and bold thinkers in a collective teaching effort. Why not take advantage of these new educational opportunities for online seminars? It’s fun, stimulates learning and promotes excellence.

Learn from the Global Champions, like Steve Jobs or Einstein.

Online with fresh digital tools.

Creative.

More interesting.

More convincing.

Better.

 

We are most impressed by the model of Estonia.

The main elements in this Baltic country are:

 

Students are treated in Estonia like raw diamonds of the country.

Not more money, but better spending for education.

Equality of opportunities, not results.

 

Everyone has the same conditions regardless of the social background. All students have the same opportunities.

Human capital needs – no ideologies.

The education system is not dominated by political party interests nor old ideologies. The needs of human capital in the modern world are center.

 

Independence of schools and teachers are key.

All schools have to follow a framework programme, but with minimum content set by the government. The application is very open.
Schools and teachers have a lot of freedom in methods and curriculums. The schools even have autonomy which teachers they hire and how use funding by the government.

 

The teachers have more freedom and responsibilities. Not the same salaries of all teachers in the country; the schools decide.

Finance and competition important.

Estonia has a clever model of individual and competitive financing.

 

All public schools are in intense competition.

Income of all schools depends on the number of students they attract. The more students, the more funds they get.

The academic performance is constantly evaluated.

 

All results are fully public. This generates a competitive dynamic. Because the parents want the best schools for their children. They select the schools they like, not the state. More students result in more funding. Teachers try harder, as their salaries depend on the number of students and funds. The worst schools are even closed.

Specializing and elite schools – liked by the pupils.

 

Some schools specialize in art, or economic or science. Even elite schools pop up. If they are wanted by the parents and pupils, they are funded by the state.

Integration of companies.

 

The companies participate in the design of academic programs.
Pupil have extensive work experiences, up to 50 percent of training hours, not just short internships. The students enter labor market with some experience. Estonia has become a hotbed of startups.

Full-service for students.

 

The schools have cafeterias, serving a free meal. All students enjoy free schools, health care including dental, and medical check-ups.

More details above in best practices.

Best you study, visit, learn and copy from Estonia.

9. Curated AI needed

Digital educational opportunities must be used much more extensively. There should be no ideological blinkers.

Data protection is not an end in itself and must not destroy the future opportunities of children and young people. The data prohibitionist approach should be replaced by an open data-supply-approach. Laws must be adapted to the needs of schools granting pupils and teachers utmost freedom of action. Possible abuse should be investigated by a complaint’s office. The Minister of Education carries responsibility, not the teachers. Estonia’s internationally successful digital learning model should be emulated without delay as best practice.

Learning Analytics is the collection and evaluation of learning data. Artificial Intelligence (AI) can effectively support learning today. In China, the USA, Japan and Estonia it is already part of everyday life, as is the use of computers and online learning.

But too many countries are hesitant and spending too little money on AI thus jeopardizing modern education as well as career opportunities in the digital and globalised world.

10. Diversity of Schools

The state should emulate and promote different models for schools and universities from the world’s top ten and adapt them to local specifics. No rigid standard model, but many experimental schools and universities. To this end, we should set up national best practice centres for schools and universities as think tanks of the ministries.

11. Support the Teachers

Teachers must be relieved of formalities and be freer in the organisation of lessons.

Their remuneration should be adapted to the overall social importance of their task.

We also need more teachers and external coaches for the support of individual talent.

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6 - TOP SOURCES & PARTNERS

Here is our Mission Future List of excellent global partners for you to learn from and connect, to solve the problem quick, creatively, effective and with humanity:

PISA

Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA)

PISA Ranking 2023
How the world’s most improved school systems keep getting better

How the world’s most improved school systems keep getting better - A Study by McKinsey & Company

Singapore

Ministry of Education (MOE)

Moulding the future of our nation.”

Estonia

About the school system

United Arab Emirates

List of top universities

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