Key features of the fourth industrial revolution in south africa’s basic education system

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


4IR brings a variety of changes in all the spheres of life, including industry and education. The unprecedented speed of technological innovation characterizes 4IR. Education has attempted to keep up with these changes; however, technology’s effectiveness and its challenges are not well documented in this sector. This study seeks to assess the availability of the basic features needed to drive the 4IR in South Africa’s basic education system. Essentially, the research question that the study sought to answer was ‘what are the key features in place to drive 4IR in South Africa’s basic education system’? Data was collected using the interviews. Interviews were conducted through telephone, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams with various school principals. Our key findings are that the basic education sector in South Africa is not geared for 4IR; however, there are pockets of excellence driven by the private sector. The study found that various online platforms such as WhatsApp/Google Apps, YouTube licensing, Office 365 licensing/ MS Teams and/or Zoom were used to facilitate teaching and learning, mainly in urban schools. The results indicated that many rural teachers were not competent as urban teachers in using technology to teach. Accordingly, teachers relied heavily on traditional teaching methods such as green board and chalk. This study implies that the South African government must prioritize technologies that can facilitate teaching and learning in the 4IR as many schools did not have these technologies, especially in the rural areas. Very few interviewees understood 4IR and its implications. There is a need for higher learning institutions to design short learning programs aimed at introducing educators to 4IR. After the procurement of technologies in schools, there is usually a tendency to provide overlook the importance of training. As a result, there is a need for training to be intensified on how to operate these technologies for teaching and learning in South Africa.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Management Information and Decision Sciences
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Basic education
  • Fourth industrial revolution
  • South Africa
  • Technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Information Systems
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Information Systems and Management


Dive into the research topics of 'Key features of the fourth industrial revolution in south africa’s basic education system'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this