Fourth Industrial Revolution: Focus on technical education
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 Industrial Revolution, England became the first industrialized country in the world and the country moved forward economically and politically. At that time the products of England were exported to all the countries of the world. That is why England was called the workshop of the world.
There have been 3 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 industrial revolution took place in the last half of the nineteenth century, in 1870, with the discovery of electricity which-- brought about a radical change in the manufacturing industry. The 3rd one occurred due to the emergence of information technology in 1960. This has led to unimaginable changes in various industries.
We are now entering in the age of Fourth Industrial Revolution. The fourth industrial revolution will be basically the digital revolution. Then modern mills will start using modern technology. Not only the factories but also the communication system will undergo a radical change. In the previous industrial revolutions, it was seen that people had managed the machine. But in the 4th revolution, device has been improved through Artificial Intelligence--so that the instrument can handle itself. As such, the capacity of the instrument is much higher than that of human beings and the instrument can work much more perfectly and quickly.
But the most important thing is that the 4th Industrial Revolution will cause many people to lose their jobs. Advanced machines, robots etc will take over the work of human beings. About 38-47 per cent of people in the United States, 35 per cent in Germany, 30 per cent in the United Kingdom and 21 per cent in Japan are likely to lose their jobs due to automation.
It is estimated that as a result of the 4th Industrial Revolution in Bangladesh 60 per cent of the people in the garment industry, 55 per cent in the furniture industry, 40 per cent in the processed agricultural products, 35 per cent in the leather and footwear industry and 20 per cent in the tourism and service industries will lose their jobs. Already 48 per cent large and 25 per cent medium industries in Bangladesh have started using sophisticated technology.
Only people who have technical knowledge will survive in the changed situation. In our country technically skilled manpower is only 14 per cent. According to another source, it is about 38 per cent. But when we look at the developed world, we see that there are about 60 per cent 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 national level.
Our garments sector is labour intensive. Because of the relatively cheap labor, China sends raw materials from their country to our country. They are now planning to use robots in the clothing 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 have 1 per cent of the information technology market. Everything else is import dependent. If we can produce these in our country and export them outside of our country to meet our needs, we can earn a lot of foreign currency. Billion dollar potential will be created in our hardware and software sector.
So, not just educated, but we need to focus on building a skilled community in the country. Those who go to work abroad should be trained with sophisticated knowledge. Our 10 million workers abroad 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 for this huge gap in their income.
For the right reason, we should focus on technical education. Because, in future most of the employment will be created by focusing on industrial mills. And the more advanced a country is in industrialization, the more developed it is. If we cannot change our education system over time, we will inevitably fall behind.
The writer is a student, Department of Agronomy, Patuakhali Science &