Technology VS Policies

(Feroz Ahmed Khan, karachi)

Article on Technology VS Policies:-
IT was only last year in December when Prime Minister Imran Khan inaugurated the Digital Pakistan initiative amid fanfare. In a series of tweets, he invited leading technology firms from around the world to assist Pakistan with technological innovation. His focus on technology was not misplaced. Experts agree that technological innovation is the predominant factor underlying social and economic change. Economists point out that 80 per cent of income difference between rich and poor countries is attributable to technology.

However, technology can never be a substitute for priorities, leadership and effective policies. We should not pin too much hope on technology as it is a complex phenomenon with some nations failing to improve their socioeconomic indicators despite allocating massive funds for technological innovation.

Many have questioned the transformative powers of technology. Even when the Industrial Revolution was truly underway. In The Rise and Fall of American Growth, he concludes that economic growth cannot go on forever as the rate of technological innovation has been declining since 1970.

The Industrial Revolution has now become synonymous with the introduction of new technologies in economic production; the publication of the Communist Manifesto was also a product of that era. Some years ago, Pakistani taxi drivers staged violent protests against app-based cab services citing jobs and income losses.

Technology is a complex and disruptive force. Blindly pushing technology will not result in better education outcomes. The government needs to priorities school enrolment, lead a sea change in our beliefs and implement effective policies. One way to do this is to start finding innovative ways to ensure the provision of reliable and affordable internet as well as laptop/ tablet for all school-age children in Pakistan.

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