Agricultural Extension Skills of Sub-Assistant Agriculture Officers of the Department of Agricultural Extension – a case of general skills and specific skills
This study was undertaken to clarify the state of general skill acquisition attributed to offthe-job training (Off-JT) and specific skill acquisition attributed to on-the-job training (OJT). Especially, the attention was paid to which general and /or specific skills can feature skillful Sub-Assistant Agriculture Officers (SAAOs). Four out of 13 upazilas in Kishoreganj district were selected randomly as study location. Data were collected from 102 SAAOs assigned to these 4 upazilas. A set of questionnaires was used for collecting data during a period from April to May 2006 through personal interview. Based on the annual competence assessment form for extension staff development (DAE, 1999), the present study adopted 8 extension skills such as (i) working with group, (ii) organizing and running a field day, (iii) organizing and running a demonstration, (iv) assessing farmers’ problems, (v) problem census, (vi) extension planning, (vii) work planning, and (viii) monitoring and evaluation. In the detail of those extension skills, the skill levels were statistically tested between the two SAAOs groups divided based on the average skill level. It was overall found that in each of 8 extension skills there were significant differences between two SAAOs groups. Furthermore, it appears that the low skill level can be attributed to lack of some general skills as well as all of specific skills. Thus, the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) should ensure the rehabilitative Off-JT must be put in practice to re-acquire relevant general skills along monitoring and needs assessment, while the continual OJT can be secured to prevent the loss of specific skills.