To Eliminate Education Gap


 Reskilling beyond the academic barrier

Along with race and gender, education is a major barrier that divides society.

According to an OECD study, young people who have completed higher education have employment rates 8-26% ppt higher and unemployment rates 2-9% ppt lower than other peers. In addition, college graduates earn more than twice as much as those with less than a high school education.

Ernz and his colleagues at the European Center for Economic Research predict that 40% of the less-educated will lose their jobs due to automation. The demand for advanced expertise and skills will continue to increase, while those with less education will be at higher risk of unemployment.

This polarization will increase the disparity in employment opportunities and wages. What will it take to avoid such a future?

One approach that is attracting a lot of attention is reskilling, or helping people acquire new skills. The Japanese government is also investing 1 trillion yen over the next five years to move labor to growth industries. Analysis suggests that the skills required in the labor market will continue to change over the next several decades, and reskilling will become increasingly important.

The following opinion piece discusses how to maintain motivation to acquire new skills, etc.

Education at a Glance 2022 (OECD)


Bridging the Gap

Educational standards have improved over time.

In the United Kingdom, the national standardized test “GCSE” is conducted in the last year of compulsory education, and the percentage of high-achieving students has risen from about 40% in the 1990s to 82% in 2012.

Thus, while the overall level of education has been raised, the educational gap created by the economic power of families has not been filled for the past 20 years.

Public schools in the U.K. have a “free meal” system, under which children from poor families receive free food of their choice in the school cafeteria. Pupils from so-called needy families who do not receive this system are about three times more likely to achieve better grades at GCSE.

Is there any solution to the educational gap created by the environment in which we are born and raised?

In researching, I found a study that says having dreams and aspirations may have an impact on higher education, employment, and job performance. Dihub). Parents and teachers have a greater influence on having dreams than family wealth or one’s own abilities, according to the study. In other words, connection to the community and the expectations of those around them are key. I was reminded of the importance of having dreams for both children and adults, regardless of their background.

Education inequalities (IFS)

Painting "what you love" on a blank canvas

While studying in Denmark, people of all ages and genders gathered for coffee at an event at Folkehøjskole (a uniquely Scandinavian educational institution) in my neighborhood. When I spoke with the gentleman, who was now 70 years old, he told me that he leads a vibrant life by continuing to learn about things that interest him at any age.

How can one discover and recognize the motivation to learn in order to achieve self-fulfillment or to view the world with a higher resolution?

The 178-year-old Folkehøjskole in Denmark is a school that offers expertise in sports, natural sciences, politics, food, music, and history without formality. It also offers about 25 short-term courses for the elderly and those with families.

A unique feature of this school is that it requires no curriculum, examinations, or other evaluations. Students don’t need a tactical approach to get high marks, and they can pursue what they are truly passionate about without being evaluated. In addition, by learning with people of different political views, genders, and backgrounds, students can experience firsthand that their own echo chambers are not all there is.

Thus, learning at Folkehøjskole is voluntary, not obligatory, and its mission is to stimulate students’ curiosity and open their eyes to new aspects of life. In the first place, there is probably no need to close “learning” to the cost-effective skills needed to earn a living. If there were a place where one could “experience a space for exploratory immersion and the expression of one’s feelings, passions, and ideas,” what would one want to know and learn?

Even if it is difficult to go to the Folkehøjskole itself, we can excavate our motivation to “learn” in a flatter way by pursuing our “likes” with a blank canvas in mind and visiting places where we can interact with people who seem to be different from us at first glance.

Folk high schools play a central role in the formation of young adults (European Commission)

Related Articles

Education Gaps in the Workplace

According to Amazon, 75% of Millennials and Gen Z are considering leaving their jobs in *2023 due to lack of skill-building opportunities Over 70% of working adults feel that they lack the skills and insufficient education to advance in their careers. As a result, they are considering offers elsewhere where there are better opportunities to improve their skills and move into other roles. Educational disparities in the workplace are also likely to be an issue.

 74% Of Millennials & Gen Z Think They Can Build Better Skills At A New Job (Forbes)

Disparities in Relearning

In recent years, there has been an increasing focus on relearning, including recurrent education and reskilling. This relearning can lead to educational disparities depending on individual attributes and the surrounding environment. In fact, a survey by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW) revealed that those who tend to learn voluntarily tend to be male, highly educated, full-time employees, affiliated with large companies, and living in large cities.

社会人でも生じる教育格差~学び直しをしやすい環境としづらい環境~ (日本の人事部)

Mobile open-air classrooms for nomads

Nomads, who do not have a fixed place to live and live on the move, of course do not have access to medical and educational services. In this context, a “mobile school” was created in Chad in 2019 by Leonard Gamayegh. With the cooperation of a foundation, he procures and provides study tools and conducts classes.

遊牧民は、どうやって学校教育を受けるのか?中央アフリカの移動式スクールに学ぶ (IDEAS FOR GOOD)