A new face/approach to Agricultural Training and Education
By Victoria Mbiggide
The time to move away from the ordinary and the “it was, it is and forever shall be” is now. There is no better timing than now for re-evaluation among African agricultural education training structures. No one understands you better than you do….so the saying goes. How about identifying our own challenges, see how best to meet them, possible partners to bring on board and the necessary resources we need to tackle and address these challenges.
This will aid the planning process and bring focus while answering the “What” to be addressed “When” questions if tangible deliverable are to be realized. With such processes, we then expect practical development issues to appear on top when it comes to ranking and setting priority areas.
For instance, if we were told to rank access to higher education, broader governance issues, institutional leadership and management, finance and higher education, limited research investment and output, quality and relevance in learning discovery and public engagement and finally information and communication technology as challenges to students in your individual institutions in order of priority, which item will be on top and how best would it be addressed?
Innov_ATE is one of the many RUFORUM partners who are active in trying to bridge the gaps between the supply of trained agricultural professionals and the market’s demand for skilled employees, while considering the demand for youth and women farmers.Have we seen collaborations like these with education and training organizations working at all levels of agricultural education and training addressing the issues mentioned above? We are tasked to ask ourselves questions of this nature if we are to register innovations for agricultural training and education.
While most agricultural education and training capacity development is focused on one or two levels of education within a country, separating investments in primary and secondary education or vocational education and higher education, InnovATE takes a whole system approach to AET capacity development. The new way of looking at the relation between agricultural education and the agriculture sector it serves is believed to redeem and transform the old way of running business in the institutions.
Such partners develop materials and training to build capacity in agriculture education institutions (AET) and create linkages between stakeholders in Agricultural Education Training networks while recommending good practices and creating tools for practitioners to share knowledge about agricultural education and training systems.
With an objective of defining and disseminating good practice strategies, let’s draw unique action plans for trans-formative change at our institution and this will form the basis of focus of the change and not the scale of the change.