With a portfolio of over 30 courses that Moodle developed in partnership between the Green Innovation Centre (CIVA in French), AfricaRice and the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development will bring skills and support to farmers in the fields of Benin. In an interview with moodle.com, Bruno Tran, Vocational Training Expert, discusses the finer details of bringing cutting edge learning technology to remote areas.
Tran begins by highlighting the “unusual” nature of AfricaRice itself. Headquartered in Côte d’Ivoire, AfricaRice’s mission is to transform rice production in Africa–no small feat. This task would be difficult for any organization, but AfricaRice is no ordinary NGO. It is also a research center that is part of the global CGIAR network, a multilateral entity devoted to food security research.
On the other side there is CIVA, an initiative supported through the “One World, No Hunger” German cooperation initiative, which focuses on smallholders’ sustainable income, employment, and supply development.
To create the learning programs, Tran reached out to ten Benin agricultural colleges. It was critical that any instructional content could be completely delivered on mobile devices and that it did not require constant network access.
Moodle Mobile was the ideal choice. It allows young students to grab resources on tablets and bring them to the fields, acting as advisers to teach and discuss techniques with the farmers.
The didactic side of the content was another important challenge. While the young students who bring knowledge to the paddies are innate technologists, making sure the farmers would follow along and quickly adopt better practices placed substantial burden on a visual delivery. Photos and cartoons are the bread and butter of the educational offers.
Anyone can visit elearning.afris.org and even complete the first two courses without having to register. The courses are taught in French, Benin’s official language. There are courses devoted to the production and transformation of specific species, courses on climate change, and IT and communications, among others.
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