South Africa: Before Embracing 4IR, Our Schools Must Get the Basics Right


Just because 4IR creates opportunity for something, doesn't mean that it will be universally successful or pan out the way we planned or hoped. Rather, it creates opportunities for a more varied educational landscape, with new challenges that need to be met.

In almost every talk, article, or conversation that I come across that relates to the future of education, I am informed that a large number of jobs will exist that we don't even know about yet because of the rapid changes brought about by the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). It follows, then, that since we are preparing our children for an unknown future, that the very nature of schooling and learning will need to change.

Some predict that teachers will become obsolete, or that traditional curricula and exams will fall away as children become more involved in self-directed learning. Content and what we learn will become less relevant and soft skills and our ability to learn new skills will become a greater priority.

This educational utopia sounds alluring, but in the same way that we don't know exactly what new jobs will pop up in the future, we don't know for certain what social and educational challenges we...

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