Inspiring change: Research reveals girls want education in life skills, financial literacy, and climate change to ready them for the future 

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Inspiring change: Research reveals girls want education in life skills, financial literacy, and climate change to ready them for the future 

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The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is “Invest in women: accelerate progress”. It acknowledges that women bring new perspectives to the table, and, by empowering women, we can drive real change. 

But when should this investment start? According to the GoStudent Future of Education Report 2024, which surveyed more than 1,000 UK students aged 10-16, just 58% girls believe that school is teaching them the skills they need for their dream job, suggesting that until we listen to the needs of the next generation we won’t be arming them for success. 

When asked what they’d like to learn to prepare them for the future, girls cited mental health management (61%), life skills (56%), finance (52%), technology development (47%) and sustainability and climate education (40%) as their most-desired additions to the curriculum. This is hardly surprising, given we are living in an age where the climate is in crisis, our political landscape is volatile, and our cost of living is high. Students can see the issues we are facing and want to tackle these topics in their professional lives. 

But it is not only practical skills that matter. Girls have also identified the soft skills they need to thrive. They see problem solving (71%), creativity (54%) and curiosity to learn (44%) as essential in order to be ready for their future. These are all traits that make a great changemaker. 

Given the clear demands girls are making for their education, it is perhaps not surprising that despite their wishes for the curriculum, they back their own abilities: 83% of girls believe technology lets them learn whatever they want, and 72% have confidence in the future and believe they have the means to succeed. 

From this, we can deduce that girls are proactively seeking out the information they need, and are taking control when it comes to their destiny. School alone may not be enough to ensure they reach their dream job, but their determination is. 

So, what next? From our perspective at least, the way we approach education needs to change. We need to focus on the practical skills that allow children to apply their learning to the world they are living in, but we also need to tailor their education to their ambitions and their dreams. 

Teachers are a driving force here: 76% of girls believe they have inspiring role models around them. This is important and exciting. To ensure this future generation of women achieves their dream role, we should start by investing in teachers and in education. In doing this, we are investing in all women.

By-line from 1:1 online tutoring provider, GoStudent

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