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Dhaka Tribune

Being equipped for tomorrow

Teaching pedagogy for 4IR human capital development

Update : 26 Apr 2024, 11:04 AM

The term “Fourth Industrial Revolution” (4IR) is ubiquitous today describing the ongoing transformation of society and industry through emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, biotechnology, and other advancements. It is a paradigm shift in how we live, work, and engage with technology that will significantly impact people's lives, businesses, and societies worldwide. It is expected to bring sweeping changes in almost all sectors of the economy including both the product and labour market. 

Even if we are not yet ready to adopt all the new 4IR technologies, what we can still do is ensure that our children have the basic knowledge and skills to thrive in it.  

Bangladesh is already burdened by a growing rate of unemployed graduates. To meet the demands of the rapidly evolving 4IR era, universities, colleges, and other educational institutes must adapt and produce graduates who possess the necessary skills. 

Educational entities should offer a significant portion of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) related courses in every discipline of study. We need a proper environment such as infrastructure including digital infrastructure, high-speed internet connectivity, computers, tablets, interactive whiteboards, and other necessary hardware and software as well as a sound reading environment in the hostel and other accommodations. 

Education can be made more interesting and practical by using various methods and strategies that can engage students, enhance their understanding, and develop their skills. For instance, trainers can demonstrate the concepts and phenomena of science in a fun and interactive way. We need to include machine learning, IoT, AI, coding and computerization in our academic curriculum as well. 

To teach the advanced technology-based curriculum we need to provide comprehensive training and professional development opportunities for teachers to effectively utilize digital tools and technology in their teaching practices. We need to apply and implement accessible learning platforms and online resources that cater to diverse learning styles and abilities. 

Bangladesh does not have a national student loan scheme to help students from poorer backgrounds afford tertiary education

We must understand that our education system should focus on real-life matters. In other words, education should be such that it enhances our consciousness on the subject taught so that students can relate 4IR technology with the subject to make our professional and or personal lives more rich and fulfilling. 

It may be vital to assist students in acquiring skills and knowledge in their chosen field, as all fields of study may eventually need to use 41R technology. Students must have a clear understanding of the specific area they are interested in eg, the government or private sector, accounting, finance, bank or non-bank financial institution, education/training, engineering or architects, garments or textile, HR/org development etc, and focus and grow in that area. Then students may cultivate a strong desire for acquiring knowledge.  

Achieving good grades is an important factor but should not be the only criterion in the STEM education system. The educational system should be designed to open and broaden our thoughts while also providing academic and practical knowledge.

In order to implement the above strategies, a significant amount of investment is required. Thus, government and concerned authorities must allocate sufficient budgets to reform our educational system from a traditional system to a technology-driven system. 

Furthermore, Bangladesh does not have a national student loan scheme to help students from poorer backgrounds afford tertiary education. The main sources of financial assistance are scholarships, waivers, and borrowing from relatives, which are limited and uncertain. Hence, financial educational incentives should be increased to adequately support our students.    

Many scholars argue that a notable number of jobs will be replaced by artificial intelligence and other digital technologies. In addition, technology will replace clerical and repetitive jobs which will bring happiness in the workplace. During the last 40 years, technologically advanced countries have significantly lowered transportation costs, enhanced automation, and communication which increased the inequality between technologically advanced and non-advanced countries. 

Hence, it is imperative that Bangladesh, being a developing nation, teaches pedagogy for 4IR human capital development immediately.

 

Dr Sheikh Ashiqurrahman Prince is a Professor at the Bangladesh Institute of Governance and Management (BIGM); [email protected]. Sayed Azharul Islam is an Assistant Professor at Khulna University; [email protected].

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