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Sri Lanka’s Colombo University to teach farmers online

Sept 15, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka's University of Colombo is starting an online agro technology degree program for rural farmers, with a pilot project already showing spectacular results, a senior academic said. The university will first start a certificate level course leading to a diploma and eventually a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc) degree.

Each level of the program will take one academic year.

Sri Lanka's university system can only absorb about 3.0 percent of students who complete secondary education.

"We have done a small survey amongst farmers and we have seen most of them have three C™s," says Hirimburegama.

"The basic requirement for university entrance is les than that."

The new agriculture course will use a combination of e-learning, printed materials sent through he post, compact discs, face-to-face teaching and lab work.

But most of the course work will be conducted through e-learning.

Farmer will access e-learning modules through a network of internet communications kiosks, known as 'Nanasela's, promoted by the island's ICT Agency.

The program is part of the Sri Lanka government's Distance Education Modernization Project (DEMP) initially funded with a fiv

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