“Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death”. “Once you stop learning, you start dying”. These are two famous quotes of Albert Einstein, one of the greatest scientists of all time.
Lifelong learning is the process of obtaining knowledge throughout one’s lifetime. Many have thought lifelong learning to be strictly within the four walls of a classroom, however, this type of learning takes the form of both formal and informal learning. That is, it could be in the classroom, or it could be outside of the classroom.
It is however of essence to note that lifelong learning begins at birth. Thus, the high value placed on education. Children who have access to quality education among other factors like healthy diet, good health and wellbeing, safe environment from their early childhood grow up to be better-developed individuals. This is because their cognitive ability has been developed right from a young age. It, however, does not stop at early childhood education alone. Education up to the tertiary level equips individuals better for life, ensuring that both cognitive and socio-behavioral skills are adequately developed.
However, as clearly stated before, lifelong learning is not just about schooling. One might learn a vocational skill or an interpersonal skill that puts you at an edge over others in the society. This is why, many individuals even in their mid-ages learn another skill outside of their educational qualifications and certificates. This serves as resistant, tolerant, and adaptive mechanisms for life situations.
With the emergence of Artificial Intelligence (AI), the million-dollar question now is, will AI be beneficial or detrimental to the entire human population? While some argue that the development of AI will aid learning and learners through provision of access to “unlimited” data, others debate that AI is rendering human abilities “useless” and still not being efficient at it (due to impersonal learning platforms).
It is, therefore, essential to investigate the concept and provide a balance. As Einstein stated, we cannot afford to cease learning. In clear terms, this would mean that various governments would decline in development as the individuals (young, and old) who should contribute to the development have surrendered creativity to AI. Yet, AI is first as a result of human creativity and makes learning easy and accessible which are good indicators of inclusion and diversity.
The ball, then is in your court, my court, to deal wisely when it comes to the use of AI and not depend solely on it. Decide to keep gaining knowledge, and building skills outside AI. Again, all stakeholders must be intentional about building a solid learning system for children and young ones.