Posted by: mhirdyounger | June 25, 2012

Learning and Sharing Together

Last week tutors from all of Ghana’s public agricultural training institutions (agricultural colleges and farm institutes) came together at Kwadaso Agricultural College to share lessons learned and best practices on incorporating agribusiness and entrepreneurship in the curriculum.

Together we celebrated the national scale of the A & E Project to all of Ghana’s public Agricultural Colleges and envisioned where A & E could go in the months and years to come, and man, did we envision some exciting things:

1. A National Agribusiness Competition at next year’s Agric Colleges Games (ACSU Games), bringing in teams from across the country to exhibit their agribusiness products.

2. Connect students to businesses, through guest lectures, placements and sponshorships.

3. Explore financing opportunities for start-up capital for students, by, for example, identifying ways to increase savings of students.

Julien, an EWB Junior Fellow, working with a group of A & E lecturers on their vision for the next year

Visioning for the future of agribusiness and entrepreneurship at Ghana’s public agricultural training institutions!

Over the week I came to see more and more the power of peer to peer learning, bringing people together to learn from each other and share ideas. Not only were we able to go through a visioning process as a team and develop a workplan as a fellowship, we also troubleshooted challenges and came up with a set of best practices for implementing a project such as A & E. For example, while discussing successes and challenges, it quickly became clear that involving all staff, not just A & E tutors, in the implementation was a key to success. This included having various staff act as mentors for the A & E project groups and making production and selling of products a campus-wide event. It was wonderful to see the tutors building off each other’s knowledge and excitement, pushing each other to step up and take leadership roles within their institutions.

We finished off the conference with a workshop on focusing on what matter: helping students reach their potential to be leaders and change agents for Ghana’s agricultural development.

Mr. Abdulai from Damongo Agric College and Mr. Dramani from Animal Health and Production College share ideas on what it means to be mentors to students.

It was inspiring to see the passion that these tutors have for teaching engaging youth in agriculture. I think these participant quotes say it all:

“One finger alone cannot pick up a stone.” Mahamadu from Damongo Agric College on the importance of peer2peer learning for tutors

“Participatory approaches are ideal way of teaching compared to rote teaching…[they] create an environment for students to be active learners” Bright from Ejura Agricultural College

“As a tutor at the agricultural colleges, we should try to be mentors” to the next generation of Ghana’s agriculturalists – Wumbei from Pong Tamale’s Animal Health and Production College

“Wherever you are and whatever you can do, you must endeavour to have impact” Ishak from Kwadaso Agricultural College

“In my small way, I will do whatever I can to make change for the better” Bright from Wenchi Farm Institute

End of day 3, each participant is writing down a personal commitment that they made to focusing on what matters: students, what they learn and helping them reach their potential.

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