Education trends in 2022 | Sunday Observer

Education trends in 2022

26 December, 2021

As the town paints itself red with jingle bells and tinsel, we know that another year is drawing to a close. Reflections begin on the year gone by when Covid ruled most of our lives.

Needless to say that our lives turned upside down and those who felt its impact the most were our young generation. With schools being the first to close when reports of cases began to surface, the education sector had to adapt quickly to keep the student population engaged in lessons.

Technology came to the rescue to get on with life during lockdowns and this has been the case, not only for Sri Lanka but for the entire world. As such, the close of a year means another one to look forward to, with many questions about how our lives, especially the youth, would be in the future, given the new realities. It is worth looking at the world’s emerging education trends to lookout for in 2022, as our student population gets ready for another new year.


During the past two years, technology was the one thing that kept our boats afloat. No doubt, this would play a huge role in the education sector in almost all parts of the world in the years to come. Technology has developed throughout the years, playing a key role in all industries.

However, technology seems to have up scaled to a whole new level in the education sector in many parts of the world, as learning platforms move on to virtual reality, augmented reality and artificial intelligence as learning tools.

According to the research of Virtual Capitalist, more students are keen on keeping digital communication avenues open with their teachers rather than in-person lessons, especially at advanced and higher learning levels. They feel more connected with the institutions with video conferencing while live chat, email, social media and online portals are also used for communication.

PEW Research states that the new normal in 2025 will be far more tech-driven. In a survey sample comprising nearly 1,000 innovators, developers, business and policy leaders, researchers, and activists, it was universally agreed that human-technology relations will grow further and tech-savvy students will be of prime importance.


Adopting technology in teaching has its challenges, especially in the developing world, but it has allowed the education sector to be more flexible with a far wider reach, even breaking international boundaries.

It has become easier for students too as they are able to listen to recorded lectures at their convenience, rather than spending time and energy travelling to institutes. More students have opted for distance learning during the past two pandemic years while more institutes have open doors to granting qualifications through online learning.

As the world turns to the digital platform, teachers who have been trained under traditional systems in traditional institutes need to regain new skills and knowledge to find the best ways to engage their students to keep up with new world trends in education.

Soft skills

A study conducted by Future of Jobs highlights the importance of soft skills in the future job market.

These include critical thinking, problem solving, people management and creativity that bring a wholesome individual equipped with academic knowledge to the table. Therefore, schools have the responsibility of honing these skills from an early age to get them ready for future jobs.

Another interesting study by Microsoft reveals that students’ attention spans in classrooms and during online lessons seem to be decreasing. This has been most noted among Millennials as they had been the generation that faced a mobile revolution.

The study found that it is easier to grasp their attention with ‘brilliant dialogues, visuals and intriguing storyline,’ which are tools that our schools and universities could also adopt when delivering learning material. The use of virtual reality and augmented reality technology - known for its fun and interactive games - helps keep the dwindling attention-spans of students for longer periods.


In addition, gamification is another new trend in education where more educators in the world are using for their lessons. As more youth turn to gaming as their leisure-time activity, some schools in the developing world have used this to their advantage, making learning a thrilling game.

With more doors opening to information sources through the digital platform, students have more independence in learning. This enables teachers to move away from traditional lecturing and be more of a facilitator to allow students to find information and analyse it for themselves. Facilitated learning is another key ingredient in readying students for the future job market. For this, teachers too need to sharpen their soft skills in creating a conducive environment for students to work together and hold discussions.

Top jobs

According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), the job landscape in 2022 leans heavily towards technology-savvy professionals.

The top 10 emerging roles in 2022 are data analysts and scientists; AI and machine learning specialists; general and operations managers; software and applications developers and analysts, sales and marketing professionals, big data specialists, digital transformation specialists, new technology specialists, organisational development specialists and information technology services.

On the other hand, the WEF identifies declining jobs to be data entry clerks; accounting, payroll and bookkeeping clerks; administrative and executive secretaries; assembly and factory workers; client information and customer service workers; recording and stock keeping clerks; and postal service clerks among others.

Another important highlight in the report is that professionals need to make learning their lifelong goal, without separating their lives into halves for academics and career. The mingling of the two brings better prospects for a professional, making them indispensable in the workforce.

This helps professionals keep up to date with emerging world trends while opening new vistas for educational institutes to open for adult learning facilities. Innovative e-learning platforms have enabled better access. Thus, the life-long learning goals would not be hard to achieve.

While Covid-19 turned the tables with regard to education, it is definitely now or never that educators abandon traditional, worn-out methods and keep abreast with the emerging world trends to empower the student population. They need to be prepared for the future workplace, which would be vastly different from how it was two years ago.