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The aim of this paper was to explore learners’ perspectives on how their schools are preparing them to prosper in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) era which is powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI). Taking cognisance of the learners’ perspectives on how South African schools are preparing them is essential for enabling the education fraternity to ascertain its level of effectiveness and efficiency hence improving its state of readiness to face the challenges of the 4IR. Therefore, the exploration of the level of preparedness, in line with 4IR challenges, can assist educational policy makers and planners to be more proactive and craft mechanisms to ameliorate the obstacles and discrepancies inhibiting the acquisition of the 21st century educational competences and skills. Employing a qualitative paradigm, semi-structured focus group interviews were used to solicit data from a sample of 30 grade 10 and 11 learners. Findings reveal that computer technology was irregularly and insignificantly used indicating that South African schools are highly ineffective in dispensing grade-appropriate skills thus producing ill-prepared learners to prosper in the 4IRworld of work.


Artificial Intelligence Fourth Industrial Revolution Level of Preparedness Technology Acceptance Model

Article Details

Author Biographies

Munyaradzi Sikhakhane, University of Zululand, South Africa

Mr. Munyaradzi Sikhakhane is a doctoral student in the department of Curriculum Studies at the University of Zululand, South Africa and is also a teacher. He currently assists teachers with the implementation of ICT tools in enhancing teaching and learning. His research interests are concerned with educational technology and teacher development.

Email: [email protected]

Mncedisi Christian Maphalala, North West University, South Africa

Mncedisi Maphalala is a Professor at North West University, School of Professional Studies in Education, South Africa. He was Professor and Dean in the Faculty of Education at the University of Zululand. He has previously worked for KZN Department of Education, University of the Witwatersrand and the University of South Africa. Between June and August 2015 he was a Visiting Scholar at the University of North Dakota (USA). His research interests are curriculum studies and assessment in education.

Email: [email protected] 


How to Cite
Sikhakhane, M., Govender, S., & Maphalala, M. C. (2021). The extent of South African schools’ preparedness to counteract 4IR challenges: learners’ perspectives. Journal of E-Learning and Knowledge Society, 17(1), 1-9.


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