Case studies of non-formal education by distance and open learning
Mwangi, Anna P
Mattee, Amon Z.
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This research report will be useful to people involved or interested in the planning, development and implementation of non-formal education programmes because of the useful lessons it offers. The case studies in this report demonstrate the potential and importance of distance learning approaches in enhancing the contribution of non-formal education to socio-economic development in Africa. For example, the Zambia Radio Farm Forum programme enables the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries to reach larger numbers of peasant farmers than is possible through other extension services. The Radio Farm Forum programme helps over 21,000 small-scale farmers/peasants in rural areas, who listen and participate in the programme, to learn new knowledge and develop new skills. In the Ghanaian case study, the use of radio strengthened the coverage, by the literacy programme, of the functional and developmental themes. Another important lesson is that distance learning approaches can be effective in changing people's attitudes/behaviour and in motivating rural communities to undertake action leading to the improvement of their socio-economic conditions. The Zambian and Ghanaian case studies again provide good examples. In Zambia, there was evidence of changes resulting from the Radio Farm Forum programmes, which included changes in attitudes to slash and burn shifting cultivation and to certain crops which were previously seen as women's crops. In Ghana, radio changed, among many things, people's attitudes towards family planning and contributed to the establishment of income-generating ventures.