Utilization of Industry 4.0 Technologies in Nigerian Technical and Vocational Education: A Conundrum for Educators

Utilization of Industry 4.0 Technologies in Nigerian Technical and Vocational Education: A Conundrum for Educators

Williams Kennedy George, Edidiong Isonguyo Silas, Digvijay Pandey, Binay Kumar Pandey
Copyright: © 2024 |Pages: 24
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-9962-7.ch014
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Technical and vocational education and training (TVET) play a pivotal role in preparing the Nigerian workforce for the demands of a rapidly evolving digital economy. In the wake of the Fourth Industrial Revolution 4.0, the integration of digital competencies in TVET programs has become imperative. This chapter explores the strategies and approaches to foster digital competencies in Nigeria's TVET by leveraging Industrial Revolution 4.0 as an enabling technology. The chapter presents the context of the historical evolution of industry 4.0, its components, design principles, main characteristics, and the TVET approach in Nigeria. Emphasizing the urgency of aligning TVET programs with Industrial Revolution 4.0 requirements, the chapter presents best practices that illustrate successful models of incorporating digital competencies into vocational training. The chapter examines the existing challenges and gaps in integrating digital skills into TVET curriculum in Nigeria, addressing issues related to infrastructure, funding, policy frameworks, and inclusivity. The chapter discusses the role of stakeholders such as government bodies, educational institutions, industry partners, and international organizations in facilitating the implementation of Industrial Revolution 4.0-driven initiatives in Nigerian TVET. Furthermore, the chapter offers actionable recommendations for policymakers, educators, and stakeholders to collaboratively design and implement strategies for integrating Industrial Revolution 4.0 technologies into Nigeria's TVET landscape. By doing so, it advocates for a more agile and future-ready workforce capable of harnessing the transformative power of digital technologies in the Nigerian context.
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The integration of digital competencies into TVET programs has emerged as a critical imperative for preparing the Nigerian workforce to thrive in an increasingly digitized economy. Developing countries like Nigeria must keep up with technological changes if they are to harness the opportunities offered by Industrial Revolution 4.0 and manage its potential disruption. In Nigeria, this revolution has posed both challenges and opportunities, particularly in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET). This introductory chapter sets the stage for a comprehensive exploration of the strategies, challenges, and potential solutions in developing digital competencies in Nigeria's TVET sector by harnessing Industrial Revolution 4.0 as an enabling technology. It endeavors to shed light on the significance of aligning vocational education with the technological advancements characterizing Industrial Revolution 4.0 and emphasizes the urgency of this alignment in driving sustainable economic growth and fostering inclusive development.

This chapter scrutinizes the current state of TVET in Nigeria, identifying the existing challenges and limitations in equipping students with digital skills requisite for Industrial Revolution 4.0 driven workplaces. It delves into the gaps in the curriculum, teacher training, infrastructure, and policies, which hinder the effective integration of digital competencies into vocational education. Drawing from a range of perspectives, including the current state of technical education in Nigeria, the evolving landscape of industry 4.0 technologies and the challenges encountered by educators in their adoption, this chapter offer pragmatic strategies for educators navigating this transformative era. By acknowledging the complexity involved in proposing viable pathways, the chapter define the core concepts of Industrial Revolution 4.0 and TVET, elucidate the key technological advancements associated with Industrial Revolution 4.0, such as artificial intelligence, robotics, the Internet of Things (IoT), big data analytics, and automation. It outlines their transformative impact on industries globally and underscores the necessity for Nigerian TVET to adapt and integrate these digital competencies into its curriculum to remain relevant and competitive.

The evolution of the Fourth Industrial Revolution 4.0 has triggered a profound transformation across global industries, reshaping the landscape of work and necessitating the acquisition of new skills (Huang, 2017). The word revolution denotes abrupt and radical change. Given that in the era of globalization, industrial organizations are under continuous pressure to innovate, improve their competitiveness and perform better than their competitors in the global market. Every industrial revolution centered on boosting productivity. The last three centuries have seen quantum leaps in the human condition. The First Industrial Revolution began in England in about 1750 - 1760 that lasted between 1820 and 1840; the second revolution started in the late 19th; and the third revolution, taking off in the late 20th century (Schwab, 2016 & Mohajan, 2019). The first three industrial revolutions had a significant impact on industrial operations, allowing for increased productivity and efficiency.

The first industrial revolution ushered in the migration of manual labor performed by people and animals to a more optimized form of labor performed by people through the use of steam powered engines and machine tools (William, 2012; Ionescu, 2018). The second industrial revolution occurred in the United States during the 1850 - 1870s, until the First World War in 1914 with the advent of steel, petroleum and the use of electricity in factories and new transport and communication systems (Flashes Magazine, 2017). The IR3 started in the late 1960’s known as the digital revolution (Gordon, 2000), is considered as the movement from mechanical and analogue electronic technology to digital technologies, such as improvement in the communication, the development of the Internet, networks, green buildings, electric cars, and distributed manufacturing (Duarte, Sanches & Dedini 2018). The latest industrial revolution 4.0 or Industry 4.0 has emerged due to the emphasis digital technologies are having on businesses. Schwab (2016) and Pauceanu (2020) maintained that Industrial Revolution 4.0 technological advancements offer a comprehensive, interlinked and holistic approach to manufacturing. It connects the physical and digital technologies, allowing for better collaboration and access to departments, partners, vendors, products and people.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Educators: Individuals involved in teaching and facilitating learning within educational institutions, including teachers, instructors, professors, and education administrators.

Policy Framework: A set of guidelines, regulations, and principles established by governments or educational institutions to guide decision-making and implementation strategies in education and technology integration.

Partnerships: Collaborative relationships between educational institutions, industry sectors, governmental bodies, and other stakeholders to achieve common goals such as improving education, fostering innovation, and addressing societal needs.

Conundrum: A challenging problem or dilemma that presents difficulties in finding a suitable solution or making decisions, often due to conflicting factors or complex circumstances.

Curriculum Development: The process of designing, planning, and implementing educational programs and courses to meet specific learning objectives and outcomes.

Technical and Vocational Education: Educational programs designed to equip individuals with practical skills, technical knowledge, and expertise necessary for specific industries or occupations.

Digital Transformation: The integration and adoption of digital technologies to fundamentally change business or educational processes, operations, and models to enhance efficiency and effectiveness.

Skills Gap: The disparity between the skills possessed by individuals and the skills demanded by industries or job markets, often highlighting areas where education and training need improvement.

Industry 4.0: Refers to the fourth industrial revolution characterized by the integration of advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, Internet of Things (IoT), big data, cloud computing, and automation in industrial processes.

Technological Integration: The incorporation and utilization of advanced technologies, tools, and digital resources within educational frameworks to enhance teaching, learning, and skill acquisition.

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