|APPEAL - Training Materials for Continuing Education Personnel (ATLP-CE) - Volume 5: Income-Generating Programmes (APEID - UNESCO, 1993, 127 p.)|
Income generating programmes require very careful thought in respect to the human and material resources needed to present them. As stated in ATLP-CE Volume One, Continuing Education is a means through which human resources can be developed and socio-economic prosperity enriched. This chapter will consider the types of human resources which are available and suggests a rationale for their selection. Training materials are also important. Education and training professionals have built a wide range of learning materials over many years and some of these are very suitable for IGPs. There are, however, many other material resources available which are not often utilized by the formal education system yet which are valuable for Income Generation Training. These materials have sometimes been created for other purposes but can be easily adapted to the needs of IGPs. Other materials will be found through the inventive and creative abilities of IGP clients. The community is rich in resources which can be improvised for these purposes.
ATLP-CE Volume One lists many resources which could be suitable for IGPs; still others will be added in the following pages. What now follows is a description of a process which the planners and organizers of IGPs may find useful. It has been found by people who have conducted IGPs in a number of countries that while each programme has its own characteristics there is a core of things in common. The process outlined below may help organizers and participants identify resources which best suit particular programmes, activities and courses.
B. The Trainers
The success of IGPs depends a great deal on the identification and selection of suitable trainers. These people should have a number of qualities:
- expertise in the subject to be learnt.
- willingness to participate and to serve others, and
- communication skills.
They will need support from a number of people especially those directly involved in the world of work. These people include the following:-
teachers (full time and part time)
social group leaders
and many others.
These types of people have made an excellent contribution to IGPs and have found their experiences to be very rewarding. Indeed it is the human rather than the material resources which are the key to success. Personnel training, however, is reviewed in more detail in Chapter Six.
C. Learning Situations
(a) Places for learning
One of the most interesting aspects of the methods of learning which can be utilized in a continuing education environment is the wide choice of places and facilities available for IGPs. Traditionally, it has been assumed that learning normally takes place in an educational institution. It is now appreciated, however, that learning occurs not only throughout life but also in an amazing range of locations. Our first learning experiences are in our home and with our families. The next learning phase is usually within the social and working life of the local community. Schooling comes next. During and after schooling learning also goes on in all agencies of the society.
So where are these places? Some of them are given in the following list:-
Formal Educational Institutions - schools, colleges, technical schools, polytechnics, agricultural institutions, universities.
Non-formal - training centers, workshops, engineering centres, production centres, factories, cultural centres, farms, hotels and restaurants, hospitals, shops, commercial firms, community centres, religious centres, homes of master craftmen, at home, night classes, clubs, self-initiated study groups, work sites, armed services, fishing fleets and soons.
(b) Training Materials
Not only can an IGP use the wide range of teaming places described in the previous section but also it can draw upon an equally rich supply of materials to fit the many learning methods available. Indeed it is sometimes the reverse; that it is the materials chosen which determine the method used. There is of course that bank of print and non-print materials which are regularly used in education:
newspapers, periodicals and magazines
posters and illustrations
videos and audio cassettes
In addition, there are methods which rely very much upon the spoken words of trainers and participants (quite often learners themselves are an excellent source of skill and knowledge.) However, not infrequently these methods depend upon materials which the trainer uses to demonstrate or simulate an activity. IGPs by their nature are activities designed to provide participants with very practical skills and, therefore, even lectures usually involve materials of some kind.
An example which illustrates the type of learning and, therefore, materials most commonly used in IGPs may be training in agriculture. Here the tools, equipment and products of the farm are the main resources. They need to be supplemented, however, by other instructional materials.
Wherever possible, therefore, an IGP should draw upon materials already available in the community. In most communities there are television sets, radios and newspapers. A learning activity may well centre around a group discussion on an agricultural topic by experts and learners. It could be recorded on video. Another group in a village may watch this structured discussion and not only learn from it but also consolidate that learning through a subsequent group discussion, perhaps with a chosen group leader or facilitator. The cost of this learning is very small but it can be very effective. Another method may be for a group to meet on a farm with a chosen expert, using the materials on that farm. Techniques can be demonstrated and practical farming problems can be presented and solved. Most importantly such activities increase participants skills and knowledge. These same methods and materials can be used equally successfully for learning about the management of resources, marketing, obtaining loans and credit, distributing products and so on.
(c) Forms and Combinations
It is important to examine how personnel, training places and learning materials can be combined to provide the most effective system for learning.
The most critical factor to be considered is the profiles of the participants. For example, some or most may have low levels of literacy. Therefore, for them print material should be at a minimum and use only basic language. They should draw substantially upon diagrams, illustrations, and posters. It may be wise, if resources permit, to rely more upon non-print materials, such as video, film and radio. Equally, the use of show and tell, role playing, demonstration and discussion group methods may be appropriate. Too often courses fail despite the fact that an extensive range of materials is available simply because course planners have not understood the starting strengths and weaknesses of the participants.
A profile of the students can enable resource combinations of another kind to be facilitated; that is, student to student as well as trainer to student. Although this is not a combination of materials it nevertheless effects the choice of the materials. IGPs should be structured such that skills and knowledge can be obtained from a range of sources, including the participants themselves. The participant who has particular knowledge or skill to transfer to the other learners needs material support as much as trainers.
Figure 5.1 (below) illustrates the interaction which can take place between learners, between trainers, and between trainers and learners - each combination may use different mixes of materials, even when they are dealing with the same or similar subjects.
Figure 5.1: Interactions in the use of materials
Further combinations can be obtained by bringing to the attention of the wider community the activities of any successful IGP. Two groups may combine and learning for both groups further enriched. This may lead to further combinations and the possibility of establishing a network of learning then emerges.
Networking, like establishing student profiles, is an important aspect of successful IGPs. (See figure 5.2). Networks facilitate exchanges of information, materials and other resources and the total result is a better range of services for participants. Indeed the development of grass root networks can often lead to the establishment of national or regional networks. IGP planners should consider creating support networks before an activity begins. Even when a course is completed, learners will need to have access to human and material resources to ensure that the learning is reinforced and continues.
IGP Trainers need support. If that support can be strengthened by linking into the support services for other trainers then so much the better. Some trainers may lack teaching skills, even though they have skills and knowledge and a personal commitment to participants. These trainers need an opportunity to acquire training skills. There are many short «train the trainer» courses already in existence which could be adapted to most, if not all, IGP programmes.
Figure 5.2: Networking for IGPs
D. Sources of Training Materials
IGP planners and organizers need strategies for acquiring and developing materials. The following strategies are suggested:
(a) The first step is to gather together and scrutinize all available materials related to the IGP curriculum, identifying those which can be used and discarding the remainder. It must be remembered that some materials will be quite suitable after some minor adaptations; indeed very few materials from other sources are exactly what is required.
(b) The next step is to find ways and means to obtain the materials which are not readily available. There are a number of means for achieving this.
i) Tap into such organizations as learning resource centres, educational institutions, and cultural centres (refer to section C in this Chapter). These centres or institutions may be willing to lend their materials or allow them to be copied.
ii) Hire or purchase materials. Sometimes it is necessary to hire or purchase one part only of a particular resource and then use local facilities to put together the remaining parts e.g. parts of a machine.
iii) Construct the materials using local expertise. For example, there may be craftmen who are willing to make teaching aids and models such as diagrams, charts and simulation models.
iv) Do not overlook the possibility of local groups making materials, each contributing their expertise.
v) Local businesses may be prepared to donate or lend materials, including equipment. They may be willing to allow a group of learners to visit their factory and use their equipment for training.
vi) Quite often participants or others in the community have equipment acquired for another purpose but would be most useful in a course. For example, home sewing machines, or perhaps video or audio recorders originally purchased for home entertainment. As stated previously, the best materials are often obtained from local sources. For example, a course on fishing is best taught using real boats and fishing equipment belonging to the local fishing industry. Owners may be willing to allow students to use their equipment in off peak periods.
vii) Occasionally it will be found that there are idle resources which can be used, e.g. a motor no longer used by a local authority could be overhauled by the students as part of a course on mechanical maintenance, or unused teaching equipment in a local high school may be utilized.
(c) The final and very important step is to evaluate materials. There are a number of ways of doing this such as through pilot courses, questionnaires to students or discussion groups. Sometimes it is useful to ask an external person to conduct an evaluation or to ask another IGP or learning centre to try out the materials. Another advantage of networks is that it may be possible not only to obtain materials from other sources but also to obtain materials which have been evaluated.
E. Distribution of Materials
The importance of networks to support learners, trainers, planners and organizers of IGPs has been stressed. These networks not only bring together existing resources but also provide channels through which organizes can learn about recent materials development. Networks are also an invaluable means for IGPs to work together to develop materials beyond the resources of any one group or which require expertise in short supply. One example of this kind of material is videos. Very few communities or educational institutions have video production facilities. They are expensive to buy and operate. IGPs need to have access to the services of such facilities and this may best be achieved through a network. A central production facility can make videos on common topics where the numbers of users are high. The cost for each user is then quite reasonable. It is not only costs in terms of production which should be taken into consideration. Materials from a successful IGP may be quite cheap in money terms but will have taken time to develop and test in the field. A materials distribution network can inform other groups about successful try-outs, and they are immediately able to use these tried and tested products. This idea is illustrated in figure 5.3.
There are a number of practical steps to be taken by planners and organizers of IGPs, for ensuring the effective distribution of materials, there are follows:-
(a) Prepare a card inventory of the resources available in the local community
(b) Prepare a card inventory of centres and institutions which may have resources and progressively add to it lists of resources they have available.
(c) Prepare an inventory of the materials developed for each IGP activity. The inventory should describe each item and its use.
(d) Make contact with other IGP organizations and ask them to prepare similar inventories. Obtain their agreement to regularly exchange information.
(e) Make it an objective to work towards centralizing the inventories created. It will be necessary to identify a suitable person or agency who could undertake this task, e.g. a Department for Continuing Education or a Department of Non-Formal Education in the district, province or even nationally.
It is important that these steps are begun at an early stage and given high priority. The investment of time on this work will be quickly rewarded with easy access to tried and tested materials.
Figure 5.3: An example of an IGP Learner Group obtaining materials support through linkages and networking. This example can be adapted by any IGP learner group, e.g. fishing, cultivation of a particular crop, handicrafts, etc.
At the beginning of Chapter Two it was suggested that not only should IGPs be encouraged at the grass roots level but they need to be supported at a national level. A national policy framework and resources to help build networks will accelerate the growth of such networks. It is important that the national government does not impose a structure over IGPs and restrain their creativity and highly consultative methodology. What is needed is support rather than control assistance to clear blockages in and between organizations, to encourage open communication and to fund information systems and Clearing Houses.
F. Relationship with World of Work
As has been stated the real world of work presents many resources and situations which can be harnessed for IGPs. As has been previously stressed an important criterion for success of IGPs is that they be learner and industry driven. For industry to become a stake holder in IGPs it must be convinced of the benefits. This is not a selfish position but one of common sense. The successes of industry, the community and individual citizens are inextricably linked but at times these linkages are obscure. IGP planners and organizers need to constantly identify benefits in such a way that industry commitment is obtained.
Industry is naturally very reluctant to expose its facilities and equipment to students without skills and experience. They fear that their equipment may be damaged, materials wasted, and that people could be injured. They must also take into account that time given to students may be time lost to production. Indeed developed countries for many years have opted to leave most vocational training to separate technical and vocational institutions.
In recent years industry in developed countries has realized that by detaching itself from formal training it has lost control over curriculum and may no longer be obtaining the graduates trade and technician level in particular - which it requires. There is an abundance of case studies to demonstrate this situation. Therefore, industry is seeking to be directly involved again.
It is important that there be extensive consultation with the world of work to explain the following:-
a) IGPs will increase the availability of persons with basic skills;
b) IGPs will increase the supply of trained persons;
c) increased income-generating by a community increases purchasing power and industry is able to sell more products.
d) there is considerable evidence to prove that people with skills and knowledge are less prone to damage equipment or injure themselves - thus reducing substantial costs to industry.
Equally, it is important for industry to have a major say in the curriculum and a specific role in teaching. In these circumstances it can take precautions to protect equipment. If industry trainers are given sound induction in the fundamentals of teaching it is easy to a construct a curriculum to build-in safety aspects and guidelines on the care and maintenance of equipment and facilities. Times for learning can be chosen at stages of least inconvenience to an employer that is one reason why evening classes are very popular. Some employers in engineering and hospitality firms set aside an area for training and provide special equipment. Others donate training equipment and install it in a school or some other facility. Still other employers encourage exchange of staff between their factories or businesses and IGPs. All of these actions can built confidence between industry and IGPs.
There are many other ways in which it can be demonstrated that inconvenience to industry can be minimized and benefits maximized. The key factor is that IGP planners and organizers must constantly analyze the labour market, evaluate IGPs and produce evidence to demonstrate their assertions.
The public profile of IGPs should demonstrate a strong relationship with the world of work. This relationships should:
(a) be stated up-front
(b) state its outcomes in advance
(c) state outcomes in terms of
- benefits to participants
- benefits to the world of work
(d) ensure that outcomes are measurable quantitatively and qualitatively
(e) demonstrate a concern and action to minimize inconvenience to participating employers
(f) ensure that industry and business is a stockholder in terms of the:
Effective materials and physical facilities are vital to IGPs. They should be well chosen, maximizing the use of both formal and non-formal resources. An industry driven IGP has the greatest possibility for obtain the optimum type and mix of materials and facilities.