Tech-MODE in Ghana

From WikiEducator
Jump to: navigation, search
Ghana Title Page 16-06-08.jpg

Executive summary

Open and distance learning (ODL) and distance education (DE), are not new in Ghana, but can be described as being at their early stages. Providers of ODL/DE are dual mode institutions which offer small-to-medium-scale ODL/DE programmes apparently because the administrative structures needed for effective operation of large scale ODL/DE are not yet in place. Print constitutes the most important medium used by practitioners of ODL/DE programmes for education and training. This can be attributed to factors such as lack of capacity in material development other than print, unreliable electricity and a fair information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure.

Technology-mediated open and distance education (Tech-MODE) programmes for grassroots agricultural training are currently being exploited by public and private institutions with assistance from development partners such as the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) and the International Institute for Communication and Development (IICD). Pilot Tech-MODE programmes are currently used in Ghana to enhance conventional extension methods of building capacity of extension workers and farmer groups. They are also used to enlarge the information space and the learning within it through available and supportive ICT.

In pursuit of the above, it is suggested that consideration should be given to strengthening relations with the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) under its programmes on Regional Agricultural Information and Learning System (RAILS) and Building African Scientific Institutional Capacity (BASIC). Support should also be provided in the networking of national, regional and international programmes in Tech-MODE for improved livelihoods and access to education.


Executive summary  
Principal acronyms

1  Introduction  
   1.1  Agricultural education  
   1.2  Agricultural training  
2  National ICT policy  
   2.1  Ghana ICT for Accelerated Development National Policy 
   2.2  Agriculture and natural resource sector strategies  
   2.3  Education sector strategies  
   2.4  Status of ICT in education and training  
3  ODL and Tech-MODE for agricultural education and training  
   3.1  Distance education in tertiary institutions  
   3.2  ODL for continuing agricultural education and training  
   3.3  Opportunities and challenges of DE/ODL/Tech-Mode in Ghana  
   3.4  Potential agriculture-related institutions with ODL focus  
   3.5  Mechanism for the introduction of Tech-MODE  
4  Recommendations for collaboration with COL, FARA and national Tech-MODE programmes  
5  References  

Related information 

Principal acronyms

COL        Commonwealth of Learning 
CSIR       Council for Scientific and Industrial Research
CTA        Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation 
DE         Distance Education
FAO        Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations
FARA       Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa 
GIMPA      Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration 
GSS        Ghana Statistical Services 
ICT(s)     Information and Communications Technology(ies) 
ICT4D      ICT for Accelerated Development 
KNUST      Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology 
LAN        Local Aera Network 
MoFA       Ministry of Food and Agriculture
NGO        Non-Governmental Organisation 
ODL        Open and Distance Learning
Tech-MODE  Technology-Mediated Open and Distance Education 
UCC        University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana 
UEW        University of Education, Winneba, Ghana 
UG         University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana 

1 Introduction

Ghana is a low-income country with a population of 22 million people and about a third of the population living below the poverty line ( Agriculture remains the main economic activity in Ghana and it is the source of livelihood for about 60% of the workforce (The Ghana ICT for Accelerated Development Policy, 2003). The agricultural sector also accounted for about 35% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 65% of the labour force in 2001 ( Consequently, like many developing countries in Africa and elsewhere, agriculture plays a pivotal role in Ghana’s economy and, by association, Agricultural Research and Development (AR&D) is extremely important.

Most people involved in agriculture in Ghana are subsistence farmers handling little or no marketable surplus. According to the Ghana Statistical Services (GSS, 2002) the incidence of poverty among food crop producers is the highest among the socio-economic groups. Several factors, including recurrent drought in parts of the country, deforestation, soil erosion, pest and diseases and inadequate access to agricultural information, play major roles in reduced agricultural production and productivity. Government policy frameworks such as the Medium Term Agricultural Development Programme (MTADP) and the Agricultural Services Sector Investment Programme (AgSSIP) have all aimed at improving the agricultural sector.

1.1 Agricultural education

The Government of Ghana recognises the importance and role of agriculture in the economy of Ghana and hence the inclusion of agriculture as a subject in the formal education system. The Ghana educational system provides for a nine-year Compulsory Universal Education (6 years of primary education and 3 years of junior secondary school level), followed by a middle-level of 3 year senior secondary/ technical/commercial and vocational education. The tertiary level consists of all diploma and degree-awarding institutions.

Formal agricultural education in Ghana starts at the Junior Secondary level as a compulsory subject. However, it becomes an optional subject at the Senior Secondary level. The universities and the diploma-awarding colleges are the tertiary institutions responsible for preparing agricultural professionals and mid-career agriculturists. They include:

  • The University of Ghana (UG), Legon, Accra which offers a two-year agricultural diploma program, a bachelor degree and post-graduate degree programmes (M.Sc, M.Phil, Ph.D) in agriculture.
  • The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi offers bachelor degree and post-graduate degree programmes (M.Sc, M.Phil, Ph.D) in agriculture.
  • The University of Cape Coast (UCC) in Cape Coast offers a bachelor degree, a Bachelor of Education degree and post-graduate degrees (M.Sc, M.Phil, Ph.D) in agriculture.
  • The University of Development Studies (UDS) in Tamale offers a bachelor degree and a master’s degree in agriculture.
  • The University of Education, Winneba (UEW), Mampong Campus offers a Bachelor of Education degree in agriculture and post-graduate degrees (M.Sc, M.Phil) in agriculture.
  • Some private universities (e.g. Catholic and Methodist Universities) also offer agriculture at the bachelor’s level.

The Kwadaso Agricultural College is the only diploma-awarding agricultural institution outside the University system and is under the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA). It aims at equipping extension agents with the requisite knowledge and skills in modern agricultural techniques.

1.2 Agricultural training

Agricultural training in Ghana covers a wide range of activities with trainees in diverse areas of agriculture and has often targeted farmers and technical facilitators like agricultural extension workers. Training for extension agents and farmers varies from short to long term. According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO; 1992), “the length of a training activity can vary from short term training activities such as one day field demonstrations to longer term training that may last several months”.

Agricultural extension programmes provide the much-needed help to farmers in the form of practical field advice and improved technologies from research institutions and the universities. It is therefore imperative that retraining programmes are organised to provide opportunities for extension workers to conduct independent or group educational projects in environments similar to those they face in their extension activities.

Training for extension workers in Ghana is provided by agricultural research institutions, universities and partner programmes and projects. There are five formal post-secondary agricultural colleges under MoFA where personnel are educated and trained for 3 years as agricultural technicians or officials in activities related to agriculture. There are also agricultural vocational institutes at Wenchi, Navorongo and Aswansi that provide formal agricultural training to practicing and prospective farmers ensuring immediate availability of skilled and trainable labour force. Extension and farmer training programmes rely on face-to-face teaching and learning through traditional training, demonstration plots and field days. Modern farmer training and extension approaches and methods such as Farmer Field Schools are in use to avoid a top-down approach to effecting change and promoting farmer participation and empowerment. However, these approaches tend to be slow, are small in scale and limited in coverage.

2 National ICT policy

2.1 Ghana ICT for Accelerated Development National Policy

The Government of Ghana has placed a strong emphasis on the role of ICT in contributing towards the country’s economy. The country’s medium term development plan captured in the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS I&II) Paper and the Education Strategic Plan 2003-2015 incorporate the use of ICT as a means of reaching out to the poor in Ghana. The Ghana ICT for Accelerated Development (ICT4D) Policy represents the Vision for Ghana in the information age. The ICT4D Policy is aimed at addressing a number of developmental challenges facing the country as a basis for achieving a number of policy goals and objectives. The Ghana ICT4AD Policy takes into account the aspirations and the provisions of key socio-economic development framework as elaborated in documents such as the Vision 2020 - The first steps; the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS)-2002-2004 and the Coordinated Programme for Economic and Social Development of Ghana (2003).

The specific objectives of the agriculture and education policy are to:

  • facilitate the modernisation of the agricultural sector through deployment of ICT to improve on its efficiency and productivity;
  • aid the process of the development of national human resource capacity and the nations R&D capabilities to meet the changing needs and demands of the economy;
  • promote an improved educational system within which ICT is widely deployed to facilitate the delivery of educational services at all levels of the educational system;
  • accelerate the development of women and eliminate gender inequalities in education, employment and decision-making by building capacities and providing opportunities for girls and women through the deployment and exploitation of ICT.

The priority focus areas of this policy related to agriculture and education are:

  • accelerated human resource development,
  • deployment, exploitation and promotion of ICT in education,
  • modernisation of agriculture and the development of agro-based industry,
  • deployment and spread of ICTs in the communities,
  • capacity development in R&D, scientific and industrial research,
  • facilitation of the development of the private sector.

2.2 Agriculture and natural resource sector strategies

The Ghana ICT4D Policy provides sector strategies for policy implementation. It indicates that ICT will be used to modernise the agricultural sector to substantially improve value-addition and yield, and develop a dynamic and vibrant export-oriented agrobusiness industry. This will be achieved through:

  • deploying and exploiting ICT to support the various activities of the agricultural sector, including the commercialisation of key sub-sectors and the improvement of current agricultural practices;
  • developing geographical information system (GIS) applications to monitor and support sustainable usage of natural resources; developing food insecurity and vulnerability information to document who, where and why people are being affected by this issue;
  • creating ICT awareness for all types of farmers at all levels nationwide, including empowering farm extension workers with relevant ICT skills; establishing an agriculture information system to provide support for the planning, production, storage and distribution of natural resources;
  • encouraging market research through the use of ICTs to improve farmers’ decision making abilities to align supply with market demands and to access new and foreign markets;
  • linking farmers and farmers’ groups and associations through ICT to resources and services needed to improve agricultural livelihoods;
  • establishing linkages between agricultural education, research and development, farming, agro-industry and marketing;
  • improving research competency and promoting the application and transfer of new technologies, such as biotechnology, to develop a modernised and globally competitive agriculture sector;
  • promoting the creation of agricultural export production villages;
  • improving rural infrastructure development and encouraging irrigation farming;
  • supporting the private sector to add value to traditional crops while strengthening the production of non-traditional export commodities.

2.3 Education sector strategies

The educational sector strategy provides that ICT will be used to transform the educational system to provide the requisite education and training services environment capable of producing the appropriate types of skills and human resources required for developing and driving Ghana’s information and knowledge-based economy and society. This will be accomplished by:

  • improving and expanding access to educational, training and research resources and facilities through the use of ICT;
  • making the educational system more responsive to the needs and requirements of the information and knowledge-based economy and society;
  • developing and restructuring ICT curricula for all levels of educational systems;
  • transforming Ghana into an ICT-literate nation driven by information and knowledge;
  • promoting ICT awareness and computer literacy within the public at large; encouraging the exchange of ICT education and training between local and international educational institutions;
  • introducing computers for all levels of educational institutions;
  • promoting e-learning and training systems to complement traditional campus-based systems;
  • developing the ICT skills capacity for the management and staff of the Ministry of Education and educational institutions at all levels;
  • developing educational management, information systems and technical and vocational education programmes to enhance the quality of educational management at all levels;
  • ensuring access to higher education to a large section of the population through the provision of high quality and robust programmes and online courses.

2.4 Status of ICT in education and training

Ghana is one of the first African countries to liberalise its telecommunication sector and has made tremendous progress in ICT infrastructure deployment. But like many parts of Africa, access to ICT still remains highly inadequate and unevenly distributed with an urban bias. The ICT revolution has also been a mobile revolution leaving behind the Internet and computing. Table 1 provides some statistics on ICT infrastructure and usage in Ghana.

Table 1. Statistics on ICT infrastructure and usage in Ghana

Fixed line operators
Ghana Telecom
Total fixed line telephone subscribers
Cellular mobile phone operators
One Touch
Total cellular mobile phone subscribers
2.8 million
Internet data service providers
VSAT data operators
Public/Corporate data operators
Internet users (2004)
Internet users per 100 inhabitants (2004)
Personal computers per 100 inhabitants (2004)

Sources: National Communications Authority and ITU Basic Statistics, 2005

The Ghanaian tertiary education sector is the most advanced in the deployment and use of ICT in the country. All the country’s major universities have their own separate ICT policies, which include an ICT levy for students. This enables students to have access to 24 hour computer laboratories with broadband connection. However, not all tertiary institutions in the country are equally endowed and there are instances where the computer facilities are run purely by the private sector as cyber cafes on campuses.

In the basic and secondary education sector, a project to set up computer laboratories in all science schools in the country has led to a significant number of computer laboratories across the country. A computer levy of $ 3.20 is allowed to be charged as ICT fees in most secondary schools. There is, however, a great disparity between public and private schools as well as between urban and rural areas in their access to ICTs. In schools, where facilities for ICT exist, a number of teachers are using the Internet for research. Current ICT initiatives and projects in educational institutions are summarised in Table 2:

Table 2. ICT initiatives and projects

Activity Description Organisation Funding source
Global E-Schools and Communities Initiative (GECSI) Expand the deployment of ICTs in schools in Ghana and to promote the effective use of ICT to achieve Ghana’s educational and community development objectives. Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports SIDA and the Irish Government
NEPAD E-Schools Supporting six schools in six regions with ICT infrastructure. Ministry of Education HP, Microsoft, Oracle, and Cisco
Intel-Elearning Centre (Accra Girls) Pilot project to establish Africa’s first WiMAX connected school, to be located in Ghana, West Africa . Accra Girls Secondary School Intel
Presidential Special Initiative on Distance Learning TV show on Mathematics, Science and English broadcast nationwide and sold on CDs. Ministry of Education Government of Ghana
HP Digital Community Centre (KNUST) High-speed ICT infrastructure at KNUST and for community learning and technology centres. KNUST HP
Research and Educational Network (REN) Facilitate the interaction and collaboration between researchers in institutions and the world. University of Ghana World Bank/infodev
GIMPA Distance Learning Centre Connecting members of central government’s policy and decision makers, managers, academics, politicians, professionals, development partners and donors, etc. to a global knowledge exchange.

GIMPA World Bank
Associated Schools Project Network (ASPnet) Ghana’s ASPnet has twinned with many schools abroad, including schools in Denmark, Great Britain, Mexico and the USA. The network has facilitated exchanges among teachers and students. UNESCO
Microsoft - Partners in learning programme Supporting schools with technology and training. Ministry of Education Microsoft/Government of Ghana
Global Teenager Project Using the Internet and especially e-mail to catalyse structured exchanges among schools and teachers. Rescue Mission Ghana School Net Africa and International Institute for Communication and Development (IICD)
Innovative Best Teacher Award Awarding teachers who excel in using ICT in education. Ghana Education Service Government of Ghana
Catch IT Fostering the development of ICT clubs throughout Ghana helps to prepare the youth for ICT related jobs AYF/OVF
Expanding Education Networking Involves a total of 50 schools in Accra, Kumasi, Cape Coast, Tema and other areas iEARN /SchoolNet Ghana
e-Education package for schools Offer affordable financing at competitive rates for qualifying educational institutions towards Broadband Internet access via VSAT anywhere in Ghana. Accelon, Standard Trust Bank, ICT Education Support Africa Foundation Accelon
The Fiankoma Teacher Programme (FTP) Uses the Internet and other digital media as tools to promote development awareness by linking together networks of teachers in Ghana and the UK.

Source: ICT4Africa/Country Report, Ghana

3 ODL and Tech-MODE for agricultural education and training

3.1 Distance education in tertiary institutions

The demand for higher education in Ghana has increased in recent years as a result of population growth and increase in the number of secondary school graduates. Higher costs coupled with limited and deteriorating facilities associated with the country’s traditional residency-based higher education system have put higher education out of reach of many, especially women (Aggor et al, 1992). Distance Education (DE) and Open and Distance Learning (ODL) have therefore become necessary to meet the education and training needs of a large number of students in Ghana.

ODL has always been part of the Ghanaian education scene. It used to be known as correspondence courses two to three decades ago. From 1982, a number of distance education initiatives have become operational. For example the Modular Teacher Training Programme (MTTP) was introduced to upgrade 7,537 untrained teachers academically and professionally (Mensah and Owusu-Mensah, 2002). Four Ghanaian public universities have pursued DE programmes since 1996: University of Ghana (UG), Legon, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), University of Cape Coast (UCC) and University of Education, Winneba (UEW).

UEW distance education programme took off in 1996 becoming the pioneer in university level DE in Ghana (Mensah and Owusu-Mensah, 2002). By 2001, UCC and UG had started diploma programmes in basic education and Youth in Development respectively. The UCC also offers a 3-year diploma in basic education. The aim of the basic school programmes is to upgrade the academic and professional competence of teachers.

Thus, the target of UEW and UCC programmes is the same population. KNUST currently offers DE programmes such as BSc. Building Technology, BSc Computer Engineering and MSc Industrial Mathematics. In 2007 KNUST started a Executive Masters in Business / Public Administration programme specially designed for part-time study by working professionals. The Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) is also poised to start an electronically-delivered ODL in Ghana.

The common features all the universities providing DE programmes share include the following:

  • They are dual-mode institutions.
  • They see DE as having the advantage of providing for a large number of qualified applicants who do not get admission into face-to-face programmes as a result of limited access to tertiary education and providing opportunity for working adults to combine work and study.
  • The mode of delivery is predominantly print with little or no use of ICT.
  • Trained human resources in DE at the university level are low.
  • They organise occasional face-to-face tutorials especially during university holidays.
  • DE is operated on a small-to-medium-scale in all the tertiary institutions except for UCC (over 20,000 students) and UEW (over 12,000 students).

3.2 ODL for continuing agricultural education and training

The use of ODL for continuing agricultural education is a new phenomenon in Ghana (Aggor and Osei, 2003). Although radio has been used in the delivery of agricultural information for several years, it has not been effectively combined with other media for continuing education for extension workers and farmers. Through collaboration with COL, Ghana piloted a 3-year continuing agricultural programme on healthy vegetable production for extension workers and farmers through Tech-MODE. The success of the programme led to the extension of the programme to three women- dominated farmer groups with a grant from the project on Gender, Agriculture and Rural Development in the Information Society (GENARDIS). CSIR-Crops Research Institute (CSIR-CRI) is currently collaborating with COL to scale-up continuing agricultural education programme with extension workers and farmers in the transitional zones of the country. The delivery mode is print, radio, audio-cassette and the cellular phone.

The CSIR-Institute for Scientific and Technological Information (CSIR-INSTI) has collaborated with the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) to repackage agricultural information into radio programmes in local languages with Community FM radios in Ghana. They have also provided information support services to farmers, extension workers, the research community and producers of radio programmes through the Question and Answer Service supported by CTA (GAINSNEWS, 2006). With support from the national agricultural research system (NARS), INSTI provides information to research scientists, lecturers, students, policy makers and research managers with information on demand through the AGORA portal.

Some agricultural NGOs working with rural farmers are helping boost production and marketing of their products by giving them access to vital information through the use of ICTs. The Ghana Information Network on Knowledge Systems (GINKS), a Ghanaian NGO, provides the farmers with access to information such as crop advice and market pricing through video, computer software programmes and cellular phone. Information delivery through Tech-MODE is currently routed through projects and programmes and are, therefore, small in scale. The need to scale-up information delivery through Tech-MODE to reach large numbers of farmers cannot therefore be overemphasised.

3.3 Opportunities and challenges of DE/ODL/Tech-MODE in Ghana

Though the mode of delivery in the DE/ODL programmes is predominantly print in most institutions of higher learning, it is encouraging to learn that the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), a tertiary institution is planning to start an electronically-delivered ODL in Ghana. This it is hoped will encourage other institutions implementing DE programmes to begin using ICT as well.

The increasing human capacity strengthening in ICT through training workshops, seminars and courses is welcome. It is envisaged that collaboration with local and international institutions for human capacity strengthening in ICT will go a long way to achieving the government’s objectives of making ICT a tool for development. The liberalisation of the telecommunication sector in Ghana, coupled with the current expansion of telephone services and ICT in educational establishment have all contributed to the increased use of ICTs in Ghana. Ghana is currently connected to its neighbours by satellite earth stations - 4 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) and microwave radio relay link to Panaftel system. Fibre optic submarine cable (SAT-3/WASC) provides connectivity to Europe and Asia (

The major challenges facing the development of the full potential of ICT for education, research and agricultural development in the county include:

  • Power supply: Its absence in rural areas and its unreliability, even if available, affects the use of ICT as delivery media.
  • Inadequate hardware (computers) and soft ware (programmes): Their absence affects the quality of materials produced for DE/ODL/Tech-MODE programmes.
  • Little or no training for ICT personnel: Personnel involved in DE/ODL/ Tech-MODE programmes have little or no ICT training hence the limitation of media used in DE/ODL/Tech-MODE programmes.
  • Limited use of ICT: Even where available, ICTs are put into limited use. For example, there is little or no use of ICT for e-conferencing. In 2004, Internet users per 100 inhabitants was 1.72 and hence the low use of emails for information delivery. It is also known that overall use of computers is limited to basic application such as word processing.
  • Low bandwidth and connectivity: Low bandwidth is a contributor to slow website update. Internet connectivity, even in institutions of higher learning, is not accessible to most staff and students.

3.4 Potential agriculture-related institutions with ODL focus

Table 3 provides a summary of formal agricultural institutions and available facilities and resources in Ghana which can be shared or developed to provide quality ODL programmes in agriculture.

Table 3. Agricultural institutions and available facilities in Ghana

Institution Facilities Capabilities / Resources Potential to implement Tech-MODE
Formal agricultural degree and post-graduate education
1 University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast
  • Faculty of Agri­culture
  • Centre for Continuing Education (CCE)
  • Internet access
  • LAN
  • Continuing education for basic teacher education on-going
  • Library
  • Resource centres
  • high
2 University of Ghana, Legon
  • Faculty of Agri­culture
  • Department of Distance Learn­ing and Con­tinuing Educa­tion
  • Internet access
  • LAN
  • Continuing education on Youth Development on-going
  • Library
  • Resource centres
  • high
3 Kwame Nkrumah Univer­sity of Science and Technology, Kumasi
  • Faculty of Agri­culture
  • Faculty of Dis­tance Education
  • Department of Distance Learn­ing and Con­tinuing Educa­tion
  • Internet access
  • LAN
  • Continuing education courses in computer sci­ence on-going
  • Library
  • Resource centres
  • high
4 University of Education, Winneba
  • Faculty of Edu­cation
  • Department of Distance Learn­ing and Con­tinuing Educa­tion
  • Internet access
  • LAN
  • Continuing education for teacher education on-going
  • Library
  • Resource centres
  • high
5 Ghana Institute of Man­agement and Public Administration (GIMPA)
  • Department of Distance Learn­ing
  • high
Continuing professional education
6 CSIR-Crops Research Institute, Kumasi
  • Training, Com­munication and Publication Unit
  • Internet access
  • LAN
  • Continuing education in rural development on-going
  • Library
  • high
7 CSIR- Institute of for Scientific and Techno­logical Information
  • Ghana Agricultural Information System
  • Internet access
  • LAN
  • Continuing education in rural development on-going
  • Library
  • high
8 Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA)-Techiman
  • Techiman Metropolis
  • Telephone
  • Agricultural
  • Information Centre
  • Continuing education in rural development on-going
  • high

3.5 Mechanism for the introduction of Tech-MODE

The Continuing Agricultural Education Project, Ghana (2001-2005), implemented by the University of Ghana, CSIR-Crops Research Institute and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture provides a well-tested approach for introducing Tech-MODE in a community (Osei and Aggor, 2006). The mechanism involves the following steps:

  • Conduct of a stakeholders workshop to discuss preparatory activities and institutional roles and responsibilities in the project.
  • Conduct of a training needs assessment survey of extension agents and farmers to determine learning needs of extension agents and farmers.
  • Conduct of a workshop in content development for ODL materials by selected resource persons.
  • Training of Extension Agents and radio producers in the use of ODL materials.
  • Facilitating the broadcast of agricultural programmes and participation of extension officers and farmers in radio programmes and discussions.
  • Facilitating farmer-groups to access agriculture information through radio and audio Cassette recorders and discussion groups.
  • Providing support for programme delivery to farmer-groups through meetings (extension fora, farmer radio listening groups).

4 Recommendations for collaboration with COL, FARA and national Tech-MODE programmes

The following are recommendations for collaboration among potential Tech-MODE partners:

  • Strengthen linkages, collaboration and sustain partnership among DE/ODL/Tech-MODE providers within and outside countries.
  • Establish fora for discussions and strengthening of national, regional and international linkages.
  • Facilitate the creation of logistical partnership with stakeholders like the mass media (radio, television) and service providers (library, Internet, postal service).
  • Support the development of ODL materials especially those other than print.
  • Assist in the provision of training to update practitioners of Tech-MODE programmes.
  • Link ODL programmes with FARA’s RAILS Network Programme.

5 References

Aggor et al (1992). Survey on Distance Education in Ghana. A Report for the Deputy Secretary (Higher Education Division), Ministry of Education of the Republic of Ghana.

C.K. Osei and R. Aggor (2006). Building the Capacity of Agricultural Facilitators and Farmers in Ghana: Providing Complementary Training with Open and Distance Learning and Information and Communication Technologies. Paper presented at the 4th Pan-Com­monwealth Forum of Opening Learning (PCF4) at Ocho Rios, Jamaica, October 6-15, 2006.

DFID/FAO/ODI (2001). Strategic programme for Information on Sustainable Liveli­hoods-Ghana Country Component. Website:

FAO (1992). Planning for Effective Training: A guide to Curriculum Development. FAO, Rome

GSS (2002). Ghana Population Census Report 2000. Ghana Statistical Services, Accra

Mensa and Owusu-Mensah, (2002). Priorities and Strategies for Capacity Building in Tertiary Distance Education for Human Resources Development in Ghana, A final Report prepared for the World Bank

R. Aggor, C.K. Osei, and K. Alluri, (2005). TECHNOLOGY-Mediated Open and Dis­tance Education (Tech-MODE) for Agriculture in Africa: Promoting the Cultivation of Healthy Vegetables by Farmers. Paper presented at the 3rd General Assembly of the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) at Kampala,)

The Ghana ICT for Accelerated Development (ICT4D) Policy, (2003): ICT for Acceler­ated Development.

Ghana Country Profile. Website:

ICT4Africa/Country Report, Ghana. Website:

Ghana Economy. Website:

Related information

Icon inter.gif

Web Resources

The Main Page on Tech-MODE in SSA is Tech-MODE_in_SSA

For brief information on the country studies see the poster presentation: Tech-MODE Poster

For information on agricultural open educational resources (AOER) see the poster presentation: AOER Poster

For a Synthesis Report on all eight country studies see Tech-MODE Synthesis

For the Country Study on:

Distance Learning for Agricultural Development in Southern Africa
Rainer Zachmann, Mungule Chikoye, Richard Siaciwena, Krishna Alluri
In 2001, the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), Vancouver, Canada, and the In-Service Training Trust (ISTT), Lusaka, Zambia, initiated a program for agricultural extension workers in Southern (and Eastern) Africa to develop and deliver distance-learning materials. Participants from Namibia, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia produced materials, pre-tested them with prospective learners, improved the materials in a workshop in 2002, and implemented pilot programs in their countries in 2003 and 2004.

ICT/ICM Human Resource Capacities in Agricultural Research for Development in Eastern and Central Africa
Rainer Zachmann, Vitalis O. Musewe, Sylvester D. Baguma, Dorothy Mukhebi
Human capacities are lagging behind the quickly evolving information and communication technologies and management (ICT/ICM). Therefore, the Regional Agricultural Information Network (RAIN), one of the networks of the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA), commissioned an assessment of ICT/ICM human resource capacities and related training needs in the context of agricultural research for development. The assessment included visits and interviews, questionnaire surveys, and desk studies at national agricultural research systems in the ASARECA subregion. We found a general lack of ICT/ICM policies which has serious consequences, and leads to a wide variety of training needs. Fortunately, most training needs can be satisfied with resources available locally, in-house, in the country, or in the ASARECA subregion.