Communication techniques for mass rural education

Code No: TMS104 Price:Rs1200/- Category: Communication and Information

1. Introduction

Modern information technology essentially refers to the processing of data, its conversion into information and the delivery system or communication through the Radio, TV, Films, Newspaper. Programme delivery promoted through social marketing using every available means of communication has been successfully tried in the field of agriculture and more recently in the case of technology missions.

Communication technology consist of the hardwares, organizational structures and social values by which individuals collect process and exchange information with other individuals. The new communication technologies of the 80’s include satellite based TV broadcasting and long distance telephony, VCRs and such computer based interactive technologies as electronic messaging systems, computer bulletin boards, teletexts and videotexts. The new technologies have certain characteristics of both interpersonal and mass media communication but are different from either. The characteristics of some of the new technologies are that they are interactive, demassified and asynchronous.

Education in the context of this project, refers to the functional aspect of education, which means essentially informing, educating and communicating to the rural people using various communication techniques / technologies.

The success of our integrated rural development depends on a variety of factors viz. a sound strategy and matching resources, committed involvement of vast network of filed cadres, awareness generation, mobilization and motivation of rural masses, who form a bulk of our country’s population.

Mass rural education is widely recognized as a support activity for various development programmes. At the recently concluded Education for All Summit, country after country stressed upon the need to invest more in basic education and women’s education. In order to usher in, desirable social and economic changes in rural areas, a cogent Information, Education & Communication (IEC) package along with sustained and sincere efforts is needed to help beneficiaries in the development process and thus pave a way for better success of development programmes.

2. Scope & Objective of the Study

The scope of the present study thus consists of examining various technologies (traditional and modern) and techniques of communication available, how they are being used in some of the priority sectors like education, rural development, poverty alleviation, agriculture and population and health and a review of such communication efforts. Such a review is relevant as communication essentially is a support activity of the ongoing programmes, success of these programmes also depends on success of communication efforts that are directed at the programme.

While the overall objective of the study is to examine the availability and feasibility of using different communication technologies and techniques in promoting alround rural development, the specific objectives of the study are:

To analyse different communication channels that are available in India in terms of its reach and relevance.

To review different Rural Development Programmes and communication efforts in RD programmes

To prioritize the key sectors of Rural Development

To critically analyse the merits and demerits of different media in rural communication efforts.

To suggest strategies for future action plan based o the above.

3. Importance of the Topic

Both in the spheres of economic and social development, the performance of various sector-specific programmes have been mixed saga of success and failure. Notable successes include green revolution and white revolution as regards economic development aspects, while the general health conditions and life expectancy have also improved appreciably.

However, there is no scope for any complacency as we have not been able to measure up to our own expectations and targets. Poverty still remains a key issue on the economic agenda while spiraling population growth and poor educational status, especially in rural areas remain our challenges for the future.

Communication is a vital element in any development programme. Due emphasis has been given to this vital activity in the family planning programme but has yielded limited results. On the other hand, it has not received proper attention in other programmes like poverty alleviation resulting in leakages in the system. Despite massive outlays, poverty alleviation programmes have not achieved the expected results. In the light of our plans and challenges ahead, all development programmes must have communication as an integral component. Since a vast majority of our rural population is illiterate and is outside the research of mass media, it is necessary that a suitable communication package (including hardware and software) is designed in a manner that these problems can be effectively addressed.

4. Methodology

Methodology for the study consisted of tapping all secondary sources, published as well as unpublished information. The sources were:

Quantitative data on various socio-economic indicators at the state and district levels.
Qualitative analysis/information from various books, journals, reports, etc.
Major evaluation studies/reports on communication efforts in key sectors.
Reports of Government of India/studies on several issues.
Reports of expert groups on IEC efforts/strategies in rural development.
Case studies for adopting new technologies/experiments.

5. Limitations of the Study

One of the limitations of the study was lack of adequate documentation of the use of modern communication techniques in different areas and the experiences thereof. However, all possible information has been gathered and examined.

Further, lack of reliable and latest data on the cost of the use of some of he new communication technologies was also one of the study limitations.