Have you ever thought about the importance of extension in agriculture? About the role of an extension worker? Or how about the extension system in Rwanda? We’ve made an e-course on Extension in Agriculture and we are excited to inform you that it is now ready on our website.
We signed a contract with the Strengthening Education for Agricultural Development (SEAD) programme in September 2018. The idea was to make an e-course on agricultural extension work. We called this course Reaching out to Farmers. It is designed for university academics, lecturers, students and researchers, but it can also be used by the private sector.
Developing an e-course can be challenging and takes a lot of time, but we are happy with the results. We did a lot of research for this course. We interviewed people and accompanied SEAD on different activities, trainings, and field visits so that we could observe the way partner institutions undertook extension work. This formed the basis of our course outline.
After we developed the course, we sent out a review link to ask for external feedback from experts. We thank our reviewers for all of the comments which contributed to making this e-course even better.
The course is all about extension work and how it should be done in Rwanda. Did you know that the way you talk to farmers, how you dress when you are going to see them, and the language you use all influence whether or not a farmer adopts or rejects a new practice you are introducing to them? I liked going to the field to see how extension work is done. This helped me a lot while developing this e-course. It gave me the opportunity to see how this course can fill gaps in knowledge.
The e-course is made up of ten sections. Each section has an assignment at the end. The assignments help students to practise what they have just learned in each section. The course itself has images, videos, case studies and scenarios where learners have to respond. This helps learners to reflect on what they have learned and gives them the chance to put that knowledge into practice. The full course takes about four to five hours to complete, but I promise you it’s worth it. It is free and you get a certificate at the end.
It will be helpful not only for lecturers teaching extension work but also for students who are about to start internships. It will also help to prepare graduates who will be working with farmers.
The course is already available on our website. Click here to look at it. It will also be on the MINAGRI and SEAD websites soon. We really hope that it’s going to contribute to Rwanda’s agricultural development.