The Fourth Industrial Revolution

We Should Focus on Technical Education

Afsana Rezoana Sultana

20 May, 2021 12:00 AM printer

The revolutionary change in industrial production that began in England in the last half of the eighteenth century is commonly known as the Industrial Revolution. As a result of the revolution, England became the first industrialised country, and it moved forward economically and politically. At that time, the products of England were exported all over the world. That is why England was called the Workshop of the World.

There have been three industrial revolutions in the world so far. The first industrial revolution took place in 1760 with the invention of the steam engine, which led to the expansion of the manufacturing industry. The second revolution took place in the last half of the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth century in 1870 with the discovery of electricity which brought about a radical change in the manufacturing industry. The third revolution happened with the emergence of information technology in 1960. It has led to unimaginable changes in industries.

We are now on the brink of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The fourth industrial revolution will be basically the digital revolution. Because of it, modern mills will start using modern technology on a large scale. Not only the factories but also the communication system will undergo a radical change. In the previous industrial revolutions, people had to manage the machine. But in the 4th revolution, the device has been improved through Artificial Intelligence so that the instrument can handle itself. Consequently, the capacity of the machinery will be much higher, and they would work much more perfectly and quickly.

However, the most important thing is that the 4th Industrial Revolution will cause many people to lose their jobs as advanced machines, robots etc. will take over the work of human beings. Due to automation, 38-47% of people in the United States, 35% in Germany, 30% in the United Kingdom and 21% in Japan are likely to lose jobs. It is estimated that due to the 4th Industrial Revolution in Bangladesh 60% of the people in the garment industry, 55% in the furniture industry, 40% in the processed agricultural products, 35% in the leather and footwear industry and 20% in the tourism and service industries will lose their jobs. About 48% of large and 25% of medium industries in Bangladesh have already started using sophisticated technology.

Only people having technical knowledge will survive in the changed situation. In our country, technically skilled manpower is only 14%. According to a different opinion, it is about 38%. But when we look at the developed world, there have about 60% technically skilled people. So we have to move forward with a master plan from now on. We need to build a technically skilled community in the country. Technical infrastructure needs to be developed at the national level.

Our garments sector is labour intensive. Because of the relatively cheap labour, China sends raw materials to our country. They are now planning to use robots in the garment sector. If this is implemented, they will no longer send raw materials to our country. As a result, our workers will lose their jobs in this sector.

Our country imports a lot of mobiles and computers every year. According to traders, the market for information technology hardware products in the country is around Tk. 20,000 core. But sadly, we only can meet 1% of the demand locally. Everything else is import dependent. If we can produce these in our country and export them, we can earn a lot of foreign currency. The billion-dollar potential will be created in our hardware and software sector.

So but we need to focus on building a skilled community in the country along with ensuring education. Those who go to work abroad should be sent abroad with proper training. Our 10 million migrant workers earn $15 billion. On the other hand, India's 13 million workers earn $68 billion. The inefficiency of our workers in the workplace is the reason huge gap persists in their income.

For the right reason, we should focus on technical education as most of the employment will be created by focusing on industrial mills in the future. And the more advanced a country is in industrialisation, the more developed it is. If we cannot change our education system over time, we will inevitably fall behind the system over time.


The writer is a Student, Department of Agronomy, Patuakhali Science & Technology University