Principles of Extension
The principles of extension are relative and not necessarily fixed in importance or sequence. The principles discussed here are those which are either fundamental in nature or widely accepted in literature on the subject.
- Principles of interest and needs: People's interests and people's needs are the starting points of extension work. To identify the real needs and interests of the people are challenging tasks. The extension agents should not pass on their own needs and interests as those of the people. Extension work shall be successful only when it is based on the interests and needs of the people as they see them.
- Grass-roots principle of organization: Extension programme should start with local problems. Extension work should start with where people are and what they have.
The establishment of the three-tier system namely, village panchayat, Block-samiti and Zila Parishad, followed by state legislatures and parliament satisfies the grass- roots principles of organization in the extension (Dhama and Bhatnagar, 2009).
- Principle of cultural difference: In order to make extension programmes effective, the approach and procedures must be suited to the culture of the people who are to be taught different culture require different approaches. A blue print of plan of action designed for one region cannot be applied effectively to another region due to cultural difference.
- Principle of co-operation and participation: Most members of the village community will willingly cooperate in carrying out a project which they helped to decide to undertake. It has been the experience of many countries that people become dynamic if they are permitted to take decisions concerning their own affairs, exercise responsibility for and are helped to carry out projects in their own village.
- Principle of applied science and democratic approach: Extension is an applied science, it is a two way process. The problems of people/farmers are identified and taken to the concerned scientists, who on the basis of research and experimentation find out the solution best suited to their conditions. The extension worker then, with the various means disseminate these findings in such a way that the farm families can voluntarily adopt them to satisfy their own needs.
However, it is democratic in a way that all possible solutions are placed before the participants, and their merits are highlighted through mutual discussions. Ultimately the people are left free to decide their line of action, what method to be adopted in their local situations with their own resources and available government assistance (Dhama & Bhatnagar, 2009).
- Principle of learning by doing: "Farmers, like other people, hesitate to believe and set on theories; or even facts, until they see with their own eyes the proof of them in material form. We must in some way, bring this work to their personal attention. We must carry it home to them".
However, learning by doing is most effective in changing people's behaviours. This develops confidence as it involves maximum number of sensory organs.
- Principle of trained specialists: Trained specialist have to be provided, who keep themselves in touch with their respective research institutes on the one hand and extend to the extension worker, meaningful terms, the latest scientific developments, which have scope for adoption in particular areas.
- Principle of adaptability: Extension work and extension teaching methods must be flexible and adopted to suit the local conditions. This is necessary because the people, their situation, their resources and constraints vary from place to place & time to time. (Singh et al., 2006)
- Principle of leadership: The involvement of leaders in extension programmes is the one single factor that determines the success or failure of those programmes. Local leaders are th guardians of local thought and action and can be trained and developed to best serve as interpreter of new ideas to the villagers.
10. Whole family principle: The family is the unit of any society the members of the family have to be developed equally by involving all them, because:-
- The extension programme affects all members of the family.
- Family members have great influence in decision making.
- It creates mutual understanding.
- It balances farm and family needs.
- It provides an activity outlet for all.
- It assures family services to the community and society.
(Dhama & Bhatnagar, 2009)
11. Principle of satisfaction: The end product of extension work should produce satisfying results for the people. Satisfying results reinforce learning and motivate people to seek further improvement.