RAP PUBLICATION 2001/13

Cover
Expert Consultation on Distance Learning Resources for Rural Women

CONTENTS


6 to 9 December 2000

Bangkok, Thailand


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Technical support:

Ms. Revathi Balakrishnan, Ph.D.
Regional Rural Sociologist and Women in Development Officer
FAO regional office for Asia and the Pacific
Bangkok, Thailand

Cover credit:
Apinya Petcharat
FAO regional office for Asia and the Pacific
Bangkok, Thailand

For copies contact:
Ms. Revathi Balakrishnan, Ph.D.
Regional Rural Sociologist and Women in Development Officer
FAO regional office for Asia and the Pacific
Bangkok 10200, Thailand.

Email: Revathi.Balakrishnan@fao.org
Fax: 66-2-697-4445


ISBN No: 974-7946-14-9

Foreword

Food and Agriculture Organization is committed to improve food production and rural economies to achieve poverty alleviation and realise sustained food security and eradication of hunger. Such FAO objectives can be accomplished by augmented investment in education for equitable development. Hence, FAO commitment compliments the global agenda on education for all, inclusive of functional literacy and technical information.

The organization directs the efforts particularly to improve the education and learning among rural communities. A special emphasis on rural learners highlights both existing development disparities and institutional mandate. The disparities are the differences reflected in the regional situation as a persistent lag in relevant learning among rural communities, women and poor. The institutional mandate is stated in Commitments of World Food Summit Plan of Action that affirms the equality between women and men and inclusion of rural women and men as partners in organizational efforts to achieve food security.

Most often, a major impediment among rural women to attain their full potential for productivity is the disparity in learning and education compared to their urban cohorts. In the Asian region the urban and rural gender divide in access to universal education and learning for improving livelihood is widely acknowledged, but yet action remains limited. In part the inadequate action is due to insufficient allocation of resources such as funds, expertise and logistics to reach rural learners, particularly rural women and girls.

The current disparity in educational resource allocation is also evident in the allocation and deployment of distance learning resources in the region. Generally, the distance learning institutions are urban biased since majority of programmes are directed to adult learners living in urban areas and engaged in formal education. FAO regional office functions in a region that is vibrant with distance learning programmes, but yet the rural reach in the developing countries is inadequate relative to the rural call for learning, particularly among rural women and girls. Hence, the emerging regional initiative of the women in development programme to explore the potential of using distance learning resources to improve the learning among rural women.

The report is the outcome of the Expert Consultation on “ Distance learning resources for rural women,” held in the year 2000 in Bangkok. The publication includes a synthesis of the papers presented by the country experts and resource persons who participated in the meeting. FAO and myself, hope that the recommendations that emerged from the Consultation would guide both FAO and the member countries to improve rural learning, specifically among rural women and girls by taking advantage of the regional distance learning resources.

R.B.Singh
Assistant Director General and Regional Representative
FAO regional office for Asia and the Pacific
Bangkok, Thailand

October, 2001

© FAO 2001


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CONTENTS

1   INTRODUCTION

1.1   FAO AND THE RURAL EDUCATION PARTNERSHIP
1.2   AGRICULTURAL EDUCATION AND DISTANCE-LEARNING SYSTEMS

2   THE FAO TECHNICAL INITIATIVE IN DISTANCE LEARNING

3   CONSULTATION VISION, PURPOSE AND OBJECTIVE

4   PROGRAMME AND PARTICIPANTS

5   SUMMARY OF THE PRESENTATIONS

5.1   Opening remarks
5.2   Country presentations

5.2.1   Bangladesh: distance learning for rural women

5.2.2   China: agricultural distance education and the agricultural broadcasting and TV school system

5.2.3   The Maldives: agricultural education through distance learning

5.2.4   Nepal: distance-learning resources for rural women

5.2.5   The Philippines: Distance-learning system for rural women: possibilities in the country and recommendations for regional cooperation

5.2.6   Sri Lanka: distance-learning resources for rural women

5.2.7.1   Thailand 1: The Distance Learning Foundation

5.2.7.2   Thailand 2: The Rajanagarindra Institute of Cultural and Gender Studies

5.2.8   Viet Nam: distance education for women in rural areas

5.3   Invited and Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries resource papers

5.3.1   Empowering rural women through distance learning

5.3.2   Modality of potential partnerships to offer open and distance education to rural women (TCDC resource paper)

5.3.3   Enhancing community-based management of agro-biodiversity: the role of the media

5.3.4   Regional distance-education resource: technological options

5.3.5   China: human resource development of rural women in remote areas through distance-learning education in agriculture (TCDC resource paper)

5.3.6   Education for rural women through distance-learning programmes in the ICAR System (TCDC resource paper)

5.3.7   Peer-learning and distance-monitoring-based training of professionals

5.3.8   UNESCO

5.4   FAO Secretariat paper

5.5   Consultation recommendations

5.5.1   Learner profile characteristics and learning needs of rural women and girls

5.5.2   Distance-education strategies for the advancement of learning of rural women and girls

5.5.3   Partnerships in distance education

5.5.4   FAO strategic agenda on distance education

6   FAO REGIONAL OFFICE FOR ASIA AND THE PACIFIC: OPERATIONAL RECOMMENDATIONS

6.1   Closure of the consultation

ANNEX 1:   AGENDA

ANNEX 2:   LIST OF PARTICIPANTS