More meaningful education
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CTA. 1993. More meaningful education. Spore 44. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/49095
CTA sponsored a study visit by eleven senior African agricultural trainers who are involved in or have influence on agricultural education and training in their countries. The participants came from Ghana, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Za
The training of (young) farmers to improve their professional skills is practically unknown in most African countries. This continues to be a serious lack in a continent still dependent on its agriculture to both feed itself and to generate income from exports of primary produce. Even where there is training or education of farmers, it is often theoretical and lacks the practical application which farmers need if they are to respond to and implement improved techniques. To help make good this lack CTA sponsored a study visit by eleven senior African agricultural trainers who are involved in or have influence on agricultural education and training in their countries. The participants came from Ghana, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Between 18th September and 3rd October, 1992 they were able to visit three agricultural training schools in the EEC. These were chosen for their special know-how in the management of programmes in which practical work, based on the philosophy: You hear, you forget; You see, you remember; You do, you understand, dominates . They are also schools where the motivation and determination of staff is an important factor in the transfer of knowledge from the trainer to the student. The three schools selected were the American Farm School at Thessaloniki, which has contributed to remarkable progress in Greek agriculture; the Deula Training Centre for Agricultural Engineering in Germany, which for more than 60 years has been related to problem solving in rural development through professional training; and the Institute of Practical Engineering at Ede, which was founded in 1954 and for nearly 40 years has influenced Dutch agriculture by the development of new and better implements and tractors. The study tour was coordinated by Deutsche Landwirtschafts Gesellschaft/German Society for Agriculture (DLG). The participants gained a good overview of the role of practical training. The activities, enthusiasm and commitment found at the three schools, together with the obvious achievements after sometimes humble beginnings, stimulated most of the participants to consider starting something similar at home. They agreed that curriculum development should be based on what is to be found and what is needed in the country, and that farmers organizations of all kinds should be approached for cooperation and input of relevant topics. It was also felt that much more attention must be paid to the role of women in agriculture, since they carry the heaviest burden of farm work, and that the deep involvement of women must be clearly reflected in the corresponding training programmes and in defining the target groups. It was recognized that one of the most important prerequisites for successful practical training is the well-being of African farmers. This is not just restricted to their economic situation, which may be improved by better prices, better roads and more support in the marketing of products. What is most essential is the social recognition of their position and their work.