The disruptors - more than just awards for the winners

Recognising disruptors on the front page of The Straits Times not only honours this group of special people, but also serves as a reminder to us of the need to respond proactively to major changes ("The Disruptors"; Dec 5).

We need to continue to reform our education system to adapt to the change.

Unfortunately, the current mindset of many parents, employers and educators may not help students succeed in the disruptive future.

They tend to over-focus on exams and grades.

While students can be developed to become an important part of the economy, they should also be developed to become more than just a resource.

They should undergo holistic, balanced and effective programmes to help them become moral, wise, responsible and useful people.

In doing so, they will become net contributors not only to workplaces and the economy but also to communities and the society.

They will also be better equipped to survive all sorts of disruptions.

Besides strengthening character development and values, we need to also help students learn 21st century skills.

These are skills that can help them develop other skills and also manage and respond to disruptive technologies.

These skills include metacognitive skills, that is, skills for higher-order thinking that enables understanding, analysis, and control of one's cognitive processes, leadership and persuasion skills, and self-directed learning skills.

More than anything else, we should be committed to continuous learning.

Patrick Liew Siow Gian (Dr)