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Education for Rural People 6 Years Later David Acker Professor and Associate Dean College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Iowa State University, USA November.

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Presentation on theme: "Education for Rural People 6 Years Later David Acker Professor and Associate Dean College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Iowa State University, USA November."— Presentation transcript:

1 Education for Rural People 6 Years Later David Acker Professor and Associate Dean College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Iowa State University, USA November 28, 2007 Rome

2 Purpose Present a global synthesis of lessons learned since the launch of Education for Rural People in 2002

3 Source Education for Rural People: What have we learned? Acker & Gasperini Journal of International Agricultural and Extension Education Spring 2008

4 What is Education for Rural People? ERP: dedicated to bringing about transformation of rural communities through capacity building of rural people. Worldwide call to action focusing on education for rural-based children, youth, and adults through formal and non-formal education.

5 ERP Objectives Improving: –access to basic education for rural people –quality of basic education in rural areas –national capacity to implement education programs to address learning needs of rural people Overcoming the urban/rural education gap

6 ERP: A Rich Resource Collection 33 books and conference proceedings 57 virtual publications 7 published articles 8 newsletters 3 theses 93 featured activities ERP Toolkits

7 History 1990: Education For All Declaration and Plan of Action led by UNESCO in Jomtien, Thailand

8 History 2000: World Education Forum, Dakar, Senegal –early childhood development –literacy education –girls education –education in emergency situations –school health –aids, schools and health –teachers and quality of education –education and disability –education for rural people

9 History 2002: ERP launched at the World Summit for Sustainable Development, Johannesburg The majority of poor, food insecure, illiterate adults, and out of school children live in rural areas and suffer from inequitable access to schools, health care, roads, technology, institutional support and markets. Addressing the educational needs of this "neglected majority" directly contributes to achieving the MDGs Dr. Jacques Diouf, Director-General of FAO

10 ERP Contributes to MDGs: 1: Eradicating extreme poverty & hunger 2: Achieving universal primary education 3: Promoting gender equity, empowering women 7: Ensuring environmental sustainability

11 ERP Implementation Policy formation through informed dialogue Participatory processes to involve stakeholders Decentralization of educational services Multi-sectoral approaches to rural development Opportunities for donor support Educational management

12 MinistriesofAgriculture UNESCO (including IIEP, etc) MinistriesofEducation Donors NGOs and civil society ADEA FAO

13 Presentation 12 Challenges 12 Lessons 12 Examples

14 Access to Education Senior level government representatives from 11 African countries reiterated the need to address the gross inequalities that marginalize rural people Fees and other costs Distance to schools Challenge # 1 Challenge # 1

15 Access to Education School attendance in rural areas has improved significantly since 1999 primarily due to: –Removal or reduction of school fees –Free access to learning materials –School construction 1999 to 2004: primary school enrolments –27% increase in Sub-Saharan Africa –19% increase in South and West Asia UNESCO, 2007 Lesson # 1 Lesson # 1

16 Education for Rural Adults –Farmer Field Schools Farmers play an active role in determining training content and in managing training events Example # 1 Example # 1 Access to Education

17 Quality of Education Quality of education available in rural areas lags behind urban areas Quality remains a critical foundational aspect of any advance in ERP Atchoarena and Gasperini, 2003 Quality depends on –facilities –teaching –materials –evaluation –leadership –curriculum –links to community Challenge # 2 Challenge # 2

18 Quality of Education Critically important link between quality and relevance, vital to increasing the appeal and utility of education for rural people. Contextualized learning allows students to study and solve real-life problems and to acquire life skills Lesson # 2 Lesson # 2

19 Relevance of learning through school gardening programs Example # 2 Example # 2 Quality of Education

20 Flexibility & Local Autonomy Centralized curriculum development Rigid implementation of curriculum Lack of community involvement leads to disenfranchisement Challenge # 3 Challenge # 3

21 Flexibility & Local Autonomy Systems that combine national curricular standards with some local content determined through community input processes have proven successful. Flexibility in academic schedules to accommodate weather, cropping patterns and the movement of nomadic people. Lesson # 3 Lesson # 3

22 Flexibility & Local Autonomy Flexibility & Local Autonomy In Thailand, for example, as much as 40% of the curriculum was permitted to be based on community and local needs FAO/UNESCO/IIEP, 2002 Example # 3 Example # 3

23 Parent & Community Involvement Schools are often viewed as impenetrable institutions belonging to the central government Challenge # 4 Challenge # 4

24 Parent & Community Involvement Parental and community involvement are key to successful and sustainable schools Participatory and community-based approaches have helped to increase educational access and to increase community ownership of schools (FAO/UNESCO/IIEP, 2006). Rural families need to see that the education their children receive is relevant. Lesson # 4 Lesson # 4

25 Parent & Community Involvement Parent–teacher organizations has a significant impact on resources available to the school Improved monitoring of quality, relevance School lunch programs Example # 4 Example # 4

26 Gender Responsive Environments Accommodations must be made to attract and retain school-aged girls and adult women Challenge # 5 Challenge # 5

27 G ender Responsive Environments Flexible timetables to accommodate peak labor demand for girls and adult women Well-supervised boarding facilities safeguard female children School meals for all children Take-home rations for female children to compensate for the labor lost when they attend school FAO/UNESCO/IIEP, 2006 Lesson # 5 Lesson # 5

28 Gender Responsive Environments Gender Responsive Environments Half-day long farmer training short courses geared toward women that have responsibilities at home. Example # 5 Example # 5

29 Organizational Efficiency No single institution can provide all educational services for rural people ERP must be approached systemically Challenge # 6 Challenge # 6

30 Organizational Efficiency Coordination among extension, schools, non- governmental organizations and the private sector is essential for optimal efficiency Lesson # 6 Lesson # 6

31 Organizational Efficiency Rural-based agricultural extension officers are a valuable resource: –presentations in their subject area at schools –conducting adult education classes –organizing farmer field schools with both technical and basic education Rural-based teachers, if trained in the specific technical subjects, can support extension programs during off hours Example # 6 Example # 6

32 Non-traditional Learners refugees and displaced persons people in inaccessible and remote areas nomadic and pastoral communities out-of-school youth disabled persons ethnic minorities retired child soldiers working children Challenge # 7 Challenge # 7

33 Non-traditional Learners Need for multiple educational safety nets to ensure higher participation rates Functional adult literacy and alternative basic education programs for those who did not have the opportunity to pursue education earlier in life Lesson # 7 Lesson # 7

34 Non-traditional Learners Integrated Intergenerational Literacy Project in Northwest Uganda Emphasis on both formal literacy and the development of survival skills across all age groups. Example # 7 Example # 7 UNESCO Institute of Life Long Learning

35 Skills Training for Rural People Skills needed to succeed in global, knowledge economies. Challenge # 8 Challenge # 8

36 Skills Training for Rural People Life skills Food production skills Self-employment skills Appropriate non-formal skills training for adults and school drop-outs can permit rural people to diversify their skills for a more secure livelihood and greater resiliency during times of stress FAO/UNESCO/IIEP, 2006 Lesson # 8 Lesson # 8

37 Skills Training for Rural People Junior Farmer Field and Life Schools in Mozambique that deal with agricultural as well as life skills development among young rural citizens FAO/UNESCO/IIEP, 2006 Example # 8 Example # 8

38 Redefining Agricultural Education Agricultural education: sharply focused on the preparation of people for on-farm employment and public sector positions Challenge # 9 Challenge # 9

39 Redefining Agricultural Education Crowder, Lindley, Bruening and Doron (1999) redefined traditional agricultural education Agricultural education must reflect changes taking place in rural areas: –technology changes –global supply chains –health challenges –on- and off-farm employment –global environmental changes –entrepreneurship and small enterprise development Lesson # 9 Lesson # 9

40 Redefining Agricultural Education EARTH University in Costa Rica Four pillars: –Social Commitment –Environmental Awareness –Entrepreneurial Mentality –Development of Human Values Example # 9 Example # 9

41 Teachers and Extension Staff Recruitment and retention of rural teachers and extension staff present significant challenges Challenge # 10 Challenge # 10

42 Teachers and Extension Staff Recruitment practices –by attracting prospective teachers and extension workers who are originally from rural areas More attractive deployment policies: –bonuses and higher salaries –loan forgiveness –provision of subsidized housing –access to better health care –posting newly qualified staff in pairs –establishment of career progression options Lesson # 10 Lesson # 10

43 Teachers and Extension Staff Teachers and Extension Staff Malaysia: a package of incentives including a piece of land and training in agriculture was used to encourage teachers to stay in rural areas. Lao PDR: profit sharing in school-based income-generating activities is allowed –both students and teachers benefit financially FAO/UNESCO/IIEP, 2002 Example # 10 Example # 10

44 Infrastructure School facilities represent a significant public investment in rural areas Challenge # 11 Challenge # 11

45 Infrastructure School building use optimized through double shift classes and for after-hours adult education Satellite schools for the youngest children from remote areas ICT has potential for us in rural areas Lesson # 11 Lesson # 11

46 Infrastructure XO Computer Example # 11 Example # 11

47 Effective Pro-rural Policies Motivating major changes in policy and resource allocation to favor rural citizens is difficult to achieve due to the absence of powerful political forces that advocate for rural people. Challenge # 12 Challenge # 12

48 Effective Pro-rural Policies National policies and strategies that effectively address ERP recognize the diversity of needs of rural people –agro-ecological and geographic differences –socio-economic and cultural differences FAO/UNESCO/IIEP, 2006 Lesson # 12 Lesson # 12

49 Effective Pro-rural Policies Effective Pro-rural Policies A strategy for Education for Rural People in Kosovo: Example # 12 Example # 12

50 What Will Success Look Like? A systemic needs-based approach that fosters education (including extension) by expanding access and improving quality for all children, youth and adults. Rural people engaged in knowledge- based economies Rural people prepared to learn in order to adapt to globalization, climate change, and other forces

51 Action at the National Level National people-centered and rights-based and justice-oriented strategies and sustainable rural livelihoods approaches Given an unequivocal association between primary education for rural people and food security, strong multi-sectoral cooperation is required. Burchi and De Muro, 2007

52 Action at the International Level ERP needs to become a commitment of all UN agencies and plans, bilateral donors, NGOs, private sector and others. ERP is a complement to programs in food security, poverty alleviation and sustainable natural resources management and could be combined with such programs to increase efficiency.

53 Action: Role of Donors Investments in the educational aspects of agriculture and rural development are needed. Donor coordination at the national level can be improved by agreeing on an overall vision with governments, by coordinating separate funding streams and through regular monitoring and dialog. Leadership from regional and international granting and lending organizations will be essential for those countries committed to elevating the education levels of their rural citizens.


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