It’s time to bring virtual reality into classrooms


47% of the present jobs will not exist after 10 years from now.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution will require a “total transformation” of educational systems around the world to help the current and coming generations prepare for the future, the provost at the American University of Dubai has said.

Schools and universities need to move away from textbook learning and start introducing virtual reality and artificial intelligence into the educational system, Dr Imad Y. Hoballah said during a panel session at the Sharjah FDI Forum on Wednesday.

About 47 per cent of the jobs that are present now won’t exist 10 years from now due to advanced technology, therefore, the youth must be prepared now to avoid unemployment in the future, he said, citing an Oxford study.
“I tell you that the Fourth Industrial Revolution is starting to have a major effect on education, but the bigger problem is that when we look at education, we look at an industry that is basically thousands of years old and that’s the way we teach today,” Hoballah said.

“The education sector is the same way it was designed a thousand years ago. Unfortunately, the educational systems of universities or primary school, still disseminates information thinking that this is what education is. I call for a total transformation of the educational system. The activities that are going on today, don’t work.”

Hoballah said that the new generation comes with “an agile set of skills” that needs to be understood. He believes faculty members and administrations need to be trained in order to deal with changing times.

Hoballah said, however, that the UAE is one of the countries that is leading the way with these issues. Universities in the country are doing a lot more as compared to others.

“Transformation happens with a leadership that knows what’s going on and, by the way, many of these things exist in the UAE more than anywhere else,” he said.

“We need to understand where we stand with artificial intelligence, virtual reality, augmented reality – do we understand it, do we teach it, do we work with it and do we have programmes for it?

“I believe that even though it has started in some places, we need to do more and more of that, and make sure that it in the beginning it wont be a money-making machine, but we need to introduce it. We need to have the people understand that this is coming.”

Source: Khaleej Times