Education in the 4th Industrial Age and beyond:

Education in the 4th Industrial Age and beyond:

Background : 

We are being hurled into the 4th Industrial Age, and to quote from the very first of the following resource list we are ‘sleepwalking’.

” We are sleepwalking- Government, Schools and Universities-into the biggest potential disaster of modern times ” : Sir Anthony  Seldon, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Buckingham

Professor David Deming at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, has argued that the very skills prioritised by linear thinking Schools and Universities are precisely the ones that algorithms are able to perform much quicker, more profoundly and reliably than humans.

The items listed at number 2,3 and 4 are spoofs and satires of our education model at the School and University Level. The Parrot’s tale by Rabindranath Tagore is amazing, and because his literary achievements were so high, his contributions as an educator have been ignored. Even his exhortation On “ where the mind is without fear….. “ as a possible goal of education has been ignored. 

The 5th entry in this list of resources is an amazing book, published in 2018 by Anthony Seldon alludes to education as the Cinderella of the AI story, but holds out the promise of AI allowing everyone to have an Etinder or Wellington education. In our context, successful implementation of the personalisation possible with AI would permit a high quality IIT- like education for everybody to make them creative and innovative Complex Problem solvers ( which are the top success skills in the WEF report listed at no.17. As a consequence of the implementation of AI in education, there would be no need of reservation for a class of people in institutions created for limited capacities. There is a view that the Bengal famine of 1943 was a man made one, with available food not being allowed to the people of Bengal. 

The present crisis in education has also been created by denying access to vast amounts of knowledge and resources that are abundantly available, thereby creating an industry of coaching and test preparation, a completely perverted approach.

In this context the story of Ecole 42 at item 19 is a glimpse of the future, which of course the AICTE and other similar regulators will not permit in India. But as Sugata Mitra in his research on self-directed learning has demonstrated, more and more learners will follow a SOLE model for their continuous improvement and lifelong learning. 

The 42 in Ecole 42 has been inspired by Douglas Adams who wrote in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: “The answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything is 42.”

There should be a sense of urgency in preparing our youth for the future, which has been described in the 9th report listed here as an ‘avalanche’. We may call it a cyclone, a tsunami, an earthquake whatever metaphor we prefer, but we have to respond. Burying our head like an Ostrich is not an adequate response. Rather like the Giraffe we have to stretch our necks to see more of the emerging scene and then take a call.

In our cussedness to preserve the status quo of giving jobs to retired bureaucrats and fossilised educators, our actions are reminiscent of an anecdote attributed to the famous economist Milton Friedman, quoted below where he sarcastically and brutally draws attention to the real goal of a program ” building a canal or providing subsidised employment”.

This quotation is usually coupled with a colorful anecdote,and the details of the stories vary greatly. Here is an account from the economics writer Stephen Moore that was printed in the Wall Street Journal in 2009. Moore stated that he used to visit Milton Friedman and his wife, and together they would dine at a favorite Chinese restaurant:

At one of our dinners, Milton recalled traveling to an Asian country in the 1960s and visiting a worksite where a new canal was being built. He was shocked to see that, instead of modern tractors and earth movers, the workers had shovels. He asked why there were so few machines. The government bureaucrat explained: “You don’t understand. This is a jobs program.” To which Milton replied: “Oh, I thought you were trying to build a canal. If it’s jobs you want, then you should give these workers spoons, not shovels.”

Do we want to educate our youth or preserve the existing mostly irrelevant establishment ? The responsibility for the right path is upon the shoulders of the Independent Educator : the Teacherpreneur. This is the species that will most likely flourish in the future when the dinosaurs of the existing education system will become extinct.

The video listed at no.16 is a 15 minute video released in 2013, and most of its projections and predictions about the future are right. A very key statement there is “ Economics always wins.” The resources at no.17 and 18 list the skills for success in future. 

Here is a set of 21 resources that will help you formulate your own personalised strategy for preparing for the coming 4th Industrial Age and beyond. Please read on to appreciate what’s coming soon, and very near you:

1: The Digital Revolution : The impact of the 4th Industrial Revolution on Employment and Education :

2. The Sabre Tooth Curriculum:

3: Every curriculum tells a story: The Dragon Slayer curriculum :

4: The Parrot’s tale by Ravindranath Tagore :

5: Anthony Seldon “ The 4th education revolution”: The Fourth Education Revolution: Will Artificial Intelligence liberate – Amazon UK › Fourth-Edu…

6: What’s worth learning in School?

7: Sir John Gurdon Nobel Prize winner was too stupid for Science at School :

8: Intelligence Unleashed: an argument for A.I. in education:

9: An avalanche is coming :

10: Keynote by Stephen Downes on the six major features of emerging online learning : available at

11: Teaching in the 4th Industrial Revolution: Teaching in the Fourth Industrial Revolution: Armand Doucet, Jelmer … › Teaching-Fo…

12: Education in the 4th Industrial Revolution: part 1:

13: Education in the 4th Industrial Revolution: part 2:

14: Education in the 4th Industrial Revolution: part 3:

15: Graham Brown Martin :

16: Humans need not apply :

17: The top 10 skills that will land you high paying jobs by 2020:

18: The future of jobs report 2018:

19: A free teacherless University in France is schooling thousands of future-proof programmers:

20: Say Goodbye to Knowledge workers and welcome to learning workers :

21: The 5th Industrial Revolution: When It Will Happen and How:

About mmpant

Prof. M.M.Pant has a Ph.D in Computational Physics, along with a Professional Law Degree, and has been a practitioner in the fields of Law, IT enabled education and IT implementation. Drawing upon his experience in world class international institutions and having taught in various modes of Face-to-Face, Distance Learning and Technology Enhanced Training, Prof. Pant is now exploring the nature of institutions which will be successors to the IITs, which represented the 1960s, IIMs, which represented the 1970 and Open Universities which were the rage of 1980s & 90s. He believes that the convergence between various media and technologies would fundamentally alter the way learning would be created, packaged, and delivered to learners. His current activities are all directed toward actual implementation of these new age educational initiatives that transform education in the post Internet post WTO era.. Prof. Pant, has been a Former Pro-Vice Chancellor, Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) and has been on the faculty of IIT – Kanpur (the premier Engineering institution in India), MLNR Engineering College and Faculty & Visiting Professor - University of Western Ontario-Canada. He has been visiting scientist to research centers in Italy, England, Germany & Sweden and has delivered international lectures with about 80 papers published. During his association of almost 15 years with the IGNOU, Prof. Pant has served as the Director Computing and has been the Member of All Bodies (i.e. School boards, Academic council, Planning board, Finance committee and the Board of management). With his interest in Law, backed with practice of Law in a High Court, and his basic training in Science and IT, Prof. Pant has been particularly interested in the Cyber Law, Patent & trade mark issues, Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) issues etc. and has been involved with many activities, conferences on “Law & IT” Prof. Pant is presently; • Advisor to Media Lab Asia - Chairman of working group on ICT for Education, chairman of PRSG handling projects on ICT for education. • Lead Consultant for an ADB funded project for ICT in Basic Education in Uzbekistan • Member of the drafting Group for India’s National Policy on ICT in education • Chairman of the group creating books for class 11 and 12 students on ‘Computers and Communication Technology’ appointed by the NCERT • Preparing a ‘Theme Paper” for the NCTE in the area of ICT and Teacher Training • Advisor and mentor to several leading Indian and Multi-national Companies in the area of education. Prof. Pant has in the recent past been ; • Member – Board of Management – I I T, Delhi for 6 years (two consecutive terms) • One-man committee to create the Project Report & Legislation for Delhi IT-enabled Open University • Advisor to the Delhi Government on Asian Network of Major Cities Project (ANMC-21) distance learning project in association with Tokyo Metropolitan Government. • Chairman Board of Studies, All India Management Association With his mission to create and implement new business opportunities in the area of e-learning & learning facilitation, Prof. Pant has promoted Planet EDU Pvt. Ltd., as its Founder & Chairman, along with a team of highly experienced and skilled professionals from Education & Training, Operations, IT and Finance.
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