First Year Experience Symposium on 4IR
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First Year Experience Symposium on 4IR

Attendees of the FYE symposium

Londiwe Dube

The Centre for Academic Development (CAD) at Vaal University of Technology (VUT) hosted an event at Stonehaven on 18 September for first-year students.

“Epistemology and Pedagogy re-imagined for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR),” was the theme on which the keynote speakers based their presentations.

The speakers debated whether the youth are ready for the transformations occurring in their lives, and especially in educational systems.

“Are we mindful of the ethics that will be brought by the 4IR? Are our VUT first-year students’ literate enough when it comes to technological systems, considering the fact that some come from less fortunate backgrounds? And lastly how will 4IR create fair ethical communities?” they asked.

Dr Harris Andoh, spoke about the assessment of 4IR in Higher Education Institutions, explaining this as a tool that will mostly be used in terms of advancing research in institutions, especially for postgraduates.

“The involvement of the Fourth Industrial Revolution in the South African educational context may be more of a drag, especially for people who have recently started their studies and those who were born before this technology,” said Dr Harris.

Mr. Siyabulela Sabata, who is a lecturer responsible for the enactment of Graduate Attributes (GAs) and curriculum transformation at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, said: “When it comes to re-thinking thinking itself, there will be lots of confusion because, most students will be surrounded by technology and in that sense there will be loss of creative minds and common sense as most will be using the internet for basic stuff.”

“Such changes will not only affect educational systems or the way things are done, but will present a lot  of changes when it comes to business sectors,” said Lukhanyo Neer, who is an entrepreneur with a passion for innovation and Africa’s development. He also said that machines will replace humans in the future.

Ms. Hazel Mtshontshi, who is a First-Year Experience Coordinator said: “The revolution started with Steve Biko when all he wanted for South Africans, especially blacks, was a changed mindset on how things should be done and dealt with.”

The VUT is already adapting its mindset to the changes that are occurring at a rapid pace, to add value to how education is conducted.

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