Let’s get rid of the “MESS” | Western Cape Education Department
Let’s get rid of the “MESS”

Let’s get rid of the “MESS”

Nirmala Sankaran, CEO of Hey Math!, said that everybody needs to raise their game both inside and outside of the classroom. She said that one thing that came across in a recent poll that she had done, was the “learning agility and the need to have skills that will make you stay relevant in this century.”

Ms Sankaran said that she sees a shift in the vision for education as a move away from academic subjects and grades to a model where we are empowering students with the right transferable skills and agencies to be able to solve societal problems.

“There is a lovely acronym by an American author:  Let’s get rid of the “MESS”. “MESS” stands for Maths, English Social Studies, and Science. He said lets replace them by transferable skills,” she said.

“Can we think of Algebra as a proxy for symbolic and abstract thinking?
Can we think of Language as communication?
Can we think of Social Sciences as human conflict?
Can we talk of English literature as human behaviour?
Science as enquiry and sceptical thinking?”

“If we look at these subjects, not as subjects, but as transferable skills, then we really are preparing our learners to become T-shaped individuals where they have depth of expertise in any one area or specialisation, but they are able to connect the dots across a very large horizontal. So the bar at the top is the horizontal skills which is multi-disciplinary thinking.”