On the second day of the International Government Communication Forum discussion titled ‘Education’ saw international converge.
the education sector will face over the coming years. the session was geared towards preparing human capital. It is estimated that 65% of today's students will be employed in positions which have not yet been created and large numbers of existing jobs are expected to be replaced by robots. Opening the discussion was award-winning journalist, Founder and Managing Partner at Advvise, media and communication expert Suzanne Afahan, who said: “While the Fourth Industrial Revolution will bring us face to face with the future of humans and their jobs being threatened by technology, in the MENA region alone, the current unemployment rate is 12 percent, but to combat this, we need to shape our children to respect the readiness to tackle that future world”.Thus, she reinforced the idea of better preparation for the future generations.Presenting an equally optimistic point of view on how automated technologies do not threaten to replace workers in every sector of the economy, author, consultant and founder of ‘Global Education for Future’, USA, Marc Presenky said: “I don’t see technology threatening people. I see all people being symbiotic human hybrids. The quicker we help our kids get there, the better the world would be for everybody because they’ll be better, effective, world improving people”.Suggesting recommendations on traditional schools that offer a one-size-fits-all approach to knowledge, he further said: “First, children should not only focus on traditional subjects that the old educational system offers but develop a separate accomplishment track world, where children want to accomplish or parents want their kids to be accomplished. I also feel governments across the world should have faster broadband access everywhere so that everybody can be connected once they have some kind of device, and this will greatly help future generations in establishing new networks and connections for future jobs”.Therefore, the need for a paradigm shift in the education system is a key agenda, as well as nurturing human potential. Other areas of work include enhancement of social interactions and developing areas that are uniquely human. Reiterating this thought was author, education expert and founder of ‘Learning Without Frontiers’, UK, Graham Brown-Martin, who said: “There are jobs of the future that machines cannot do. Artificial Intelligence is always the medium; it’s not the message. The current education system is like seeing the tip of the iceberg. What we miss is the cognitive capacity that is underneath- all the skills, all the abilities, all the things that only human beings can do. But what we learn is what the textbook industry is teaching everyone. What we need to do is figure out the rest of the cognitive capacity that’s missing everywhere. We are hostage to a 19th century education model that is governed by the textbook industry and that will lead to the catastrophe of the Fourth Industrial Revolution”.Concluding the Forum with positive recommendations to amend the traditional educational system with a newer approach was the prevailing thought of the day. Dispelling fears stemming from a digital transformation that would overshadow human employability, panellists concurred machines cannot do scientific discoveries nor can they run businesses, where human intervention becomes imperative and remains unparalleled.The eighth edition of IGCF was held under the theme ‘Behavioural Change Towards Human Development’ and was organised by the International Government Communication Centre (IGCC), an SGMB subsidiary. It concluded on Thursday.