728 x 90

You are here

Primary tabs

Makerere's AFRISA Model Excites 6th FARA Conference Participants

  • In Sciences
  • 19 Jul 2013 - 1:56pm
  • By Mark Wamai
  • 38,297
Prof. J.D. Kabasa(C), Principal CoVAB, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda made a presentation on the Makerere AFRISA-SPEDA Model at the 6th AASW FARA Meet, 15-20th July 2013, Accra Ghana

Academic and curriculum developers attending the on-going FARA conference in Accra, Ghana have expressed interest in the integration of the Makerere University AFRISA-SPEDA educational model in their respective curricula. This follows a presentation by the Principal, College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity (CoVAB) Prof. John David Kabasa on special and innovative curricula and programs that Makerere University has developed. Prof. Kabasa also won an award from African Network for Agriculture, Agroforestry and Natural Resources Education (ANAFE). This was in recognition of curricula reforms that he has spearheaded at the College which support ANAFE’s agenda and service to the African continent.

Prof. Kabasa explained the efforts Makerere has made through partnerships to transform communities in Somaliland and the reforms that are required to establish transformative education in Africa using the AFRISA-SPEDA model.

He said the thrust is to graduate somebody who is a job creator or already has an enterprise, skills and is involved in production. “We normally nurture the student to learn competencies, develop a strategic and business plan. By the time the student graduates, (s)he is a certified producer and entrepreneur. In this, we are solving the problem of job creation and using higher education as a tool for supporting production. We are taking the university to the community and anchoring higher education directly in development,” Prof. Kabasa explained.

The model has been seen as a good example for thematic curricula that are aligned to industrial value chains, which is the current drive for the African Union. This has prompted participants to appreciate the model and extend their invitation to the University.  “We want to request Makerere University to assist us integrate this model in our curriculum,” Prof. Adandedjan Claude from Benin’s University of Abomey-Calavi, Faculty of Agronomic Sciences appealed.

The same invitation was extended by TEAM AFRICA, the network that deals with tertiary education for agricultural modernization. RUFORUM also invited the University to submit the concept for the AFRISA-SPEDA model with regard to the graduate programs that were developed under the vocationalisation of the animal sector education systems (VASES).

“We are particularly interested in learning about the experiences of Makerere’s vocationalisation in tertiary institutions”, said Prof. Igor Besson from Cameroon

Prof. Kabasa also participated in other fora including one on the organization of food systems in Africa. Members expressed the need to develop the African food systems in a balanced way, taking care of not just available food but ensuring that the food is safe and healthy.  Prof. David Kabasa observed that while we have so many people lacking what to eat, we also have many people who have food but are eating it in an unbalanced manner.

“The proportion of people who are malnourished because of unbalanced food intake has increased and the problem of obesity and [being] overweight is as critical in Africa today as it is in the western world. As the African union and its agents are planning to transform the food systems in Africa and agriculture in general, it must be a holistic approach ensuring that these aspects are embedded in the curricula”, he said.

Other issues discussed were on food of animal origin as a key aspect for income and livelihood of the people where more than half of the continent is relying on animal production.

The conference has brought Makerere’s innovations more into the limelight on the African continent and in the international community, complete with some take-home lessons. Indeed, many participants expected Makerere to be present on grounds that it is setting the pace in higher education and research.

“It gave us a big lesson that Makerere should learn to be where it is expected. I think in future, Makerere should be vigilant particularly the communication and Public Relations office should keep everybody informed so that other sections of the university can participate. At the same time, we have picked a lot of knowledge. This is like a shopping place where there is lots of information to inform our curricula development, strategic planning, research agenda and it is a place where we have been able to get partners already”, Prof. Kabasa observed.

Story by Jovia Musubika Kavulu, Jane Anyango and Agaba Issa Mugabo

Related Article

Makerere Shines in Accra as 6th AASW Kicks Off

Downloads & Essential Attachments

Liked it? Share it..