DR AHMED ABDUL MALIK
AND DR HENDUN ABDUL RAHMAN SHAH
THE Fourth Industrial Revolution affects all humans, especially those in productivity.
However, it must be dealt with caution as its downsides are emerging.
The world will experience loss of jobs, a widening gap of status in society, marginalisation of the less privileged, pollution, environmental impacts, a change in societal behaviour, health issues and inequality.
Hence, the question is, while the industrial revolution is supposed to feed the human pursuit of a better life, can it make humankind better?
In higher education, a disruptive innovation has emerged, which changes the teaching and learning environment. This advancement of technology cannot replace or remove the role of teachers, educators or murabbi.
Technology is created by humans for humans, using their reasons (‘aql), which will have weaknesses or may cause negative implications.
Mankind may learn many things on the Internet, but what they cannot learn is the spiritual and emotional aspect of being human.
This must be aligned with scientific and technological pro-gress.
We may find information using technology without the need for a teacher (self-learn), but we cannot gain true knowledge without one.
Some major issues in higher education and its relation to the new narrative include our preparation for a new wave, the way we cope with it, the impact it has on students and the type of graduates they become.
Our preparation is to accept the fact that technological advancement cannot be rejected. This goes in tandem with the understanding that Islam advocates readiness in changes.
We also cannot deny that the magnitude and order of our life are boosted by the Internet.
This can be seen by overwhelming statistics of social media and smart gadgets used by Malaysians.
To cope with these advancements, students and lecturers must ensure that technology will bring change for the better and not for the worse.
Although changes are the natural development of a human life cycle, we have to be technically ready to turn technology into a positive vibe.
For lecturers, the advent of technology, coupled with access to an abundance of information, means teaching methods and pedagogies must change.
Education must be efficient and teaching techniques must change in tandem with these developments.
However, the traditional way of teaching and learning — the mu-rabbi approach, where the role of lecturers as knowledge providers and mentors — is now challenged.
In future, students may learn without teachers.
As education becomes capitalistic in nature, the process of teaching and learning becomes much more self-oriented and isolated than before.
University programmes must be based on the concept of the unity of knowledge, a convergence of information and disciplines. Students should be provided with a system of education that allows appreciation of approaches from other disciplines to inform and enrich their understanding.
It will encourage the creation of new space of knowledge and integration of disciplines to achieve common goals.
This aligns with the advocacy for transdisciplinary education and area-based development.
DR SITI SURIANI OTHMAN,
DR NORFADHILAH MOHD ALI,
DR AHMED ABDUL MALIK
AND DR HENDUN ABDUL RAHMAN SHAH,
Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia, Selangor