Tech-MODE in Ghana Abstract

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Open and distance learning (ODL) and distance education (DE), though not new in Ghana, can be described as being at its infant stage. Providers of ODL/DE are dual mode institutions who offer small-to-medium-scale ODL/DE programmes apparently because the administrative structures needed for effective operation of large scale ODL/DE is not in place. Print constitutes the most significant 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 infor-mation and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure.

Technology-mediated open and distance education (Tech-MODE) programmes for grass-roots agriculture training is currently being exploited by public and private institutions with assistance from development partners such as the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), the Technical Centre for Agriculture and Rural Development (CTA), and the International Institute for Communication and Development (IICD). Tech-MODE pro-grammes, though at their pilot stages, are currently being used in Ghana to enhance con-ventional 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 pursuance of the above, it is suggested that con¬sideration 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 educa¬tion.