Are you prepared for industrial revolution?

Saturday March 14 2020



Min Atek

Min Atek 

By Min Atek

Two incidents continue to stand out in my memory as a young teenager. First, I recall the long walk down the hill from home to the post office area, which was the only place with telephone booths.
Different people would line up to buy coins, which later became phone cards that they would use in the phone booths to make calls. You had to have money to do this. I remember how this went on for many years that at some point we needed to buy phone cards even when making phone calls in international airports like in Dubai. Can you imagine?I also recall the endless visits to my aunt’s home because their family had a telephone landline, where I could make and receive calls. Back in the day, this was such a big deal.
I remember clearly that each time the phone rang, I or one of my cousins had to run to the corner where the telephone handset was. As a teenager, I often wondered what it would have been like if I had a phone which I could carry and use from anywhere. It felt like an impossible dream then.
I also remember the time when the BlackBerry phone hit the market. This was probably the first phone that enabled people to access data collection and use. A friend remarked sarcastically that someone in my calibre would never own such a phone.
In 2020, the idea of the mobile phone does not make news anymore. Seated in the Africa Law tech festival, I could not help but wonder about very many things. Almost overnight, the use of mobile phone apps made the use of sending and receiving of text messages obsolete. This is the impact of the fourth industrial revolution.
The key question is how today’s parent is prepared to navigate the parenting field alongside the continued advancement of technology? Each passing day, a new application is developed, which renders many things non-functional. Today, a child of five years can easily operate a smart phone.
Someone recently said something scary, that many university students are studying courses which will be obsolete by the time they graduate from university. What about the primary and secondary school students? How adaptable are they?

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