The Life Long Learning of Farmers (L3F) Through Mobile Phones: Pedagogy for the Commons
Hierarchy and disparity in India are deeply embedded and reflects in the daily life of the people. The result is the lower your position the less you were entitled to own, to participate, to move around etc. Mobile phone undermines these strictures, which is increasingly becoming ubiquitous, plugging a large mass, in to a system of interactive communication. Mobile can be used as an effective learning tool but it depends on the knowledge, skill and the resources of the person using it. Life long learning of farmers (L3F) programme started seven years back in Theni district, in the state of Tamil Nadu, India, supported by Commonwealth of Learning (COL) and implemented by a network of Civil society organizations and Farmers producer companies. The programme has been effectively using mobile as a tool to address the women and men farmers learning needs i.e to provide lessons for the better management of the enterprises they set up with the loans received from the commercial banks. It converted everyone as a self directed learner. The L3F learners are small and marginal, illiterate, semiliterate women and men farmers. The paper discusses the processes, outcomes and impact of L3F. The study conducted in 2013 by National Institute of Bank Management, Pune, shows the Benefits/Costs ratio, for each one rupee spent nearly ten times more were returned as benefits. Similarly another study conducted by Business School, New England University, Australia in 2016, reveals the ‘profit efficiency’ achieved in programme is higher in the case of L3F farmers. The paper will also discuss the future directions of the programme including the possibility to promote L3F as a business model for banks and other stakeholders. // Paper ID 339
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