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Education for Rural People 6 Years Later

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

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Education for Rural People 6 Years Later

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  1. Education for Rural People6 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. UNESCO (including IIEP, etc) Ministries of Education Ministries of Agriculture FAO Donors ADEA NGOs and civil society

  13. 12 Challenges 12 Lessons Presentation 12 Examples

  14. Access to Education Challenge # 1 • 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

  15. Access to Education Lesson # 1 • 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

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

  17. 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 Quality of Education Challenge # 2

  18. 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 Quality of Education Lesson # 2

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

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

  21. Flexibility & Local Autonomy Lesson # 3 • 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.

  22. Flexibility & Local Autonomy Example # 3 • 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

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

  24. Parent & Community Involvement Lesson # 4 • 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.

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

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

  27. Gender Responsive Environments Lesson # 5 • 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

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

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

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

  31. Organizational Efficiency Example # 6 • 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

  32. Non-traditional Learners Challenge # 7 • 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

  33. Non-traditional Learners Lesson # 7 • 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

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

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

  36. Skills Training for Rural People Lesson # 8 • 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

  37. Skills Training for Rural People Example # 8 • 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

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

  39. Redefining Agricultural Education Lesson # 9 • 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

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

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

  42. Teachers and Extension Staff Lesson # 10 • 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

  43. Teachers and Extension Staff Example # 10 • 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

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

  45. Infrastructure Lesson # 11 • 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

  46. Infrastructure Example # 11 XO Computer

  47. Effective Pro-rural Policies Challenge # 12 • 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.

  48. Effective Pro-rural Policies Lesson # 12 • 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

  49. Effective Pro-rural Policies Example # 12 • A strategy for Education for Rural People in Kosovo: 2004 - 2009

  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

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