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New paper explores the ever-changing role of educators

In recognition of the vital role played by teachers, through the Unesco-led initiative themed 'Teachers: Leading in crisis, reimagining the future', PwC joins in celebrating teachers as leaders during the crisis brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. In a paper issued today by PwC South Africa, we look at the ever-changing role of teachers as 'educators of the future'.
Image source: Getty Images
Image source: Getty Images

Roshan Ramdhany, PwC Education Industry Leader says: "Covid-19 has given us a glimpse of the world to come and has forced us to rethink what we are teaching and preparing people for. Moving forward, educators will need to rethink how they educate future generations. They will need to consider redefining what education should look like for Generation Z, Alpha, and beyond.

“The pandemic has brought the role of teachers to the fore as they reinvent ways to provide education and services. In order for educators to be adequately prepared to teach in this ever-changing environment, they need to upskill themselves and others for the new digital world. The shift to virtual classrooms, virtual collaboration and online assessments require digital skills and the use of tools to ensure that the knowledge imparted is not lost.”

Key highlights from the PwC paper are:

  • Educating humans in a word that’s becoming smaller: The Covid-19 pandemic has thrown us into virtual learning scenarios and facilitating curriculum by using computer generated classrooms to teach using online tools. In South Africa, however, many teachers and learners are faced with numerous challenges such as a lack to educational resources, particularly internet connectivity, computers and laptops. With the move to a new digital era, we will need to relook at how the local education system will keep up and ensure that learners receive the best education possible.

  • Transforming the role of the educator: The role of teachers and other educators is undergoing rapid change. According to the OECD (2020), educators must adapt to new pedagogical concepts and ways of delivering teaching for which they might not have received training for. Teachers will not only need to focus on teaching technical skills, but also skills such as continuous learning, resilience, emotional intelligence, critical thinking and adaptability to prepare learners for an ever-changing future. Remote learning cannot replace the role of teachers, but the current crisis has highlighted that the role of educators needs significant change as well as curriculum differentiation and more individualised learning.

  • Skills needed by educators and learners for the future: The new future isn’t five years away – it’s in every new day. According to the OECD Future of Education and Skills 2030, three different type of skills are needed for 2030: 1) Cognitive and metacognitive skills; 2) Social and emotional skills; and 3) Physical and practical skills. In as much as these skills are needed by students and learners to be relevant for the future – teachers and educators also need to develop and grow these skills.

The Covid-19 pandemic has pushed teachers to quickly adapt to the new way of doing things. Covid-19 is not the only crisis that we will face in our lifetimes. Therefore, educators will need to continuously upskill and develop their digital skills in order to play a facilitation role to learners and to stay abreast with new technologies.

View the full paper here.

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