COL launches world’s first Tamil language OER federation for non-formal education

COL, in collaboration with Arul Anandar College, Reddiar Chatram Seed Growers Association and VIDIYAL, is set to launch the Tamil Nadu Lifelong Learning for Farmers OER Federation in India. This OER portal repository, which is the first of its kind developed in a non-English language, was created by farmers for farmers in Tamil Nadu in their local Tamil language.

L3fpedia provides an easy to use single interface when searching for farming related OER, in the Tamil language, made available by multiple institutions and organizations. The federation harvests metadata from partners’ repositories to create a searchable index of resources, including text, audio and video, which help farmers increase their yield while adopting sustainable practices.

Speaking on the objective of this project, COL Adviser: OER Dr Ishan Abeywardena said “the novelty of this new OER federation is its ability to enhance the livelihoods of farmers through non-formal education delivered in their native language. Further, this project addresses the recommendations in the Ljubljana OER Action Plan under “language and cultural issues” through the use of user-friendly technology.”

Currently there are three member organizations in the federation who have developed 150 quality assured OER courses, to be shared through L3fpedia, based on an extensive needs analysis. More partners are expected to join the federation within the year once it becomes self-sustaining.

COL’s L3F initiative empowers farming communities using open, distance and flexible learning. The initiative is working with several partners in the Commonwealth to build capacity amongst farmers (mostly women) in skills and financial literacy.