Technology-Mediated Open and Distance Education (Tech-MODE) in Agricultural Education and Training in Kenya: Opportunities and Challenges

Kironchi G;, Mwang'ombe AW. Technology-Mediated Open and Distance Education (Tech-MODE) in Agricultural Education and Training in Kenya: Opportunities and Challenges.; 2008.


Open and distance learning (ODL) in Kenya, like in many other developing countries, is characterized by, and offered through, dual mode institutions. Most of these programmes are in humanities and social sciences. Currently, one private university is offering agricultural training at a distance using print medium. A few private organizations or NGOs carry out short duration informal agricultural capacity building programmes to farmer groups an d extension workers using technology- mediated open and distance education (Tech-MODE). The Government of Kenya placed emphasis on education and training in agriculture, because of the important role it plays in the country’s economy. Although great potential exists for the use of Tech-MOD E in agricultural sciences at primary, secondary, tertiary and informal levels in Kenya, its application still largely remains untapped. However, with the recent completion of the National ICT Policy (2006), the Ministry of Education, in consul tation with stakeholders, developed a comprehensive National ICT Strategy for education and training, with a view to guiding the implementation of informat ion and communication technology (ICT) initiatives in the education sector. This country report highlights the existing potential in Kenya that the project on Tech-MODE for agricultural education prop osed by the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) could build on. It is suggested that consideration should be given to strengthening relations with the existing national, regional and international institutions and networks or programmes . Priority areas for training should be identified by all participating stakeholde rs for support in content development and institutional capacity building. This initiative offers opportunities for mu lti-institutional part nerships to prepare training content that would not only provid e locally relevant and practical knowledge, but also would be internationally recogniz ed. Tech-MODE for agricultural education would offer viable alternatives by lowering education costs, increasing professional retention and not taking trainees out of their professional roles and homes for extended periods. In addition, benefici aries would contribute to increased and sustainable agricultural production, develo pment in the country, poverty reduction and improved food security

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