For the young, technology-minded generation, e-learning courses are the perfect choice for vocational training.
Photo: © Bruno Tran

16.06.2017

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For most young people, getting information via the Internet is part of the daily routine. But who can guarantee that such information is of high quality, trustworthy and useable? Our authors describe how they use the Moodle e-learning platform for development, deployment and management of e-learning courses for vocational training of African youth in agriculture and agro-business.

While agriculture is expected to produce more food and create more employment in Africa, a large pool of young people are struggling to find employment and are often tempted to leave rural areas and agriculture. Of course this situation has many causes, and it is not our endeavour to solve them all … but we do want to solve one set of issues that lock a large group of youth out of employment in agriculture: traditional teaching and curricula are not always well adapted to the reality of day-to-day farming. Through under-funding of the education system, agricultural teaching is all too often done in an old-fashioned, top-down manner, centred on unaffordable technological solutions that are not appropriate to the environment, by too few teachers who are markedly underpaid and often under-trained. Agricultural colleges lack the funds to update curricula, invest in teaching resources and even hire enough qualified teachers. Also, agricultural research organisations often lack incentives, opportunities or interest in transferring the results of their research into teaching and training material.

Providing free online courses that are of good quality as far as their technical content is concerned as well as being attractive and easy to use from their format can reach a young audience via the Internet in ways and at a scale that no other teaching format can.

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