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A Rational Critique of the Fourth Industrial Revolution Academia: A Search For Deeper Explanations

Ngwako Solomon Modiba
Mohammed X Ntshangase


The purpose of this paper is to explore the technological shift of academics towards the utilization of technological devices in the facilitation of teaching. Precisely, the paper is checking on how much is robotic teaching machines being embraced in academia. This is a conceptual and a positional paper. The question guiding this paper is: how successful could robotic-teaching machines replace lecturers in the halls of learning and competently and effectively lecture to the historically disadvantaged students? Findings include how much robotic-taught students are likely to lack the Ubuntu human sense of morality. The other finding relates to how much countries with low economic might could increase unemployment in the acquisition of robots. The other finding relates to the difficulty of retaining critical thinking within the robotic teaching, for the next generations. The other finding relates to the competent programming of robots to adequately replace lecturers. The last finding centres around the liberty of students to express their critical views being taught by formatted machines. Evidently much as the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) is beneficial to human development, it equally poses a relentless threat to lecturers as employees across the global economic spectrum. Myriad people are likely to be laid off from their jobs because of machinations when human capital will be replaced by robots. Acknowledging that some lecturers could be re-skilled, the number is but likely to be marginal. On the basis of above, the researchers recommend that the concept of decolonization of curriculum at higher education institutions be afforded a space to take root before being coupled with this one of the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) which is likely to require more preparations and resources than realized.

Keywords: Academia, Critical thinking, Decolonization, Education, Robotic teachers