A wise man once said: we must set a boundary between education and knowledge. Education is a formal curriculum-based certificated education. Education is geared towards understanding and gaining new knowledge, while knowledge is based on accumulated information gained through experience or study. Education has a predefined curriculum, rules, and regulations, whereas knowledge has no such boundaries. It is often assumed that education at research-intensive universities relies on the scholarly aims of hierarchical, specialised, and symbolic knowledge, whereas vocationally orientated higher education institutions (HEIs) emphasise the practice-orientated knowledge needs of working life, focusing on applicable and useful knowledge. Is formal schooling alone sufficient for the productive civic functions of the citizenry?
Of course, we need social and general non-school based idiosyncratic education. Philosophically, I sincerely believe that we need to transformed to a different epistemic level when it is expressed for use by a different type of actions for a qualitatively different purpose from the initial use. The analysis reveals the distinct understandings and meanings of outwardly similar terms. These meanings are deeply rooted in the countries’ institutional structures and labour processes and still inform national debates and policies today. Policy debates on employability, lifelong learning and competence‐based approaches suggest a convergence of knowledge and special skills to be prioritized in the Fourth Industrial Revolution “4IR” with specific attention on Nigeria and by extension Africa a continent classified among the “third world”.
Sadly, “Third World” is an outdated and derogatory phrase that has been used historically to describe a class of economically developing nations. These are the developing and technologically less advanced nations of Asia, Africa, Oceania, and Latin America. Third world nations tend to have economies dependent on the developed countries and are generally characterized as poor with unstable governments and having high fertility rates, high gender-related illiteracy and are prone to diseases. One of the critical factors is the lack of a middle class; there is a huge impoverished population and a small elite upper class that controls the country’s wealth and resources. Most Third World nations also have very high foreign debt levels.
This article seeks to examines the epistemological, political, and socioeconomic consequences of the “4IR” for Africa – the primary focus of the article is on the policy document of the ruling party APC ‘Renewed hope’ that encapsulated the benefits of “4IR” which may likely address one of the most crucial questions facing educational policy makers — the relationship between school and everyday or common sense knowledge. Ahead of the 2023 general elections and the campaigns of the political parties – it is imperative for the issues of knowledge-based education, security and economy to be properly prioritized and placed as part of the front-runners in the policy documents.
Interestingly, yours truly, the writer of this article that focuses on the boundary between education and knowledge, authored the book “Nigeria Needs a New National Model” published by Lambert academic publishing company in Germany – the 425 pages book published last year in the Month of October and dedicated to Gen. Colin Luther Powell, who passed on to glory at the time of publishing. Instructively, It should be noted that the “Fourth Industrial Revolution”(4IR), series occupied significant number of pages in the book, apart from over twenty articles of different perspective on need for the third world countries, particularly Nigeria to take full advantage of the 4IR and not be left behind.
Flowing from the foregoing, I am glad to note that at least one of the manifestos, specifically the APC one, ‘Renewed Hope’ has devoted a substantial section to Fourth Industrial Revolution 4IR. Consequently, I wish to formally acknowledge the giant stride of the great minds, bearing in mind that some of the contents in the book “Nigeria Needs a New National Model” and the over twenty different articles on the subject “Fourth Industrial Revolution” (4IR), published globally by local and international media received validation which is noticeable in the well documented policy ‘Renewed hope’ hopefully, other African countries and its policy makers will also find the contents useful for the journey towards industrialization. Therefore, it is safe to say that the contents of the well documented policy ‘Renewed Hope’ is the catalyst for the much expected new dawn and represent the beginning of an industrialized nations in Africa.
How many countries of the world are not complaining now except those countries that produce what they need. This is the results of knowledge-based education – taking advantage of the Fourth Industrial Revolution “4IR” bearing in mind the inputs of social realism that was developed initially out of a concern shared among a group of sociologists of education about the general neglect of knowledge in educational research. They attributed this neglect to a widespread and longstanding impulse to reduce knowledge to social relations of power and the often incommensurate standpoints of different groups of knowers. Hence the need for our beloved country Nigeria to embrace the reality of the global recognition of the essence of the Fourth Industrial Revolution 4IR.
Conclusively, permit my indulgence to say that just as Nigerian musicians are touring the world and picking up awards at the forefront of the global craze for Afrobeats. The success of the Fourth Industrial Revolution 4IR, will reposition our beloved country Nigeria among the industrialized nations of the world as we journey into the new dawn of ‘Renewed Hope’ which signposts the beginning of an industrialization. Finally I salute the foresight and promise of the ruling party APC presidential candidate on Fourth Industrial Revolution 4IR as reflected in the ‘Renewed Hope’ manifesto.