17 Dec, 2018

Share this Article

Professor Dzimbiri speaking during the meeting

LUANAR Deputy Vice Chancellor, Professor Lewis Dzimbiri, has emphasized on the importance of curriculum review in a university. Professor Dzimbiri was speaking this on 14th December 2018 during the Curriculum Review Workshop at Golden Peacock Hotel in Lilongwe.

He said the meeting was very important because LUANAR is the only university with a long history of producing professionals working in the agricultural sector.

“Because we depend on agriculture which is the backbone of the economy, it is very important that graduates produced by LUANAR should have the requisite competency, skills and attitudes. The workshop is very important as we are reviewing the curriculum just as restaurants look on their menus,” he said.

He said to ensure that LUANAR remains relevant to the country’s economy, it is important for the institution to consult stakeholders in the agriculture sector.

“To ensure that we are relevant and helpful to the farmer, to the Ministry [of Agriculture] and to everyone else in this country, we need to consult and hear from them so that we can incorporate those things in the curricular,” said Professor Dzimbiri.

The consultant championing the curriculum review, Professor Frans Swanepoel from Agriculture Transformation in Africa University of Pretoria-South Africa, said the this kind of curriculum review is very important for LUANAR as it is currently engaged in several initiatives meant to develop higher education in Malawi and Africa at large.

“Just to give an example, LUANAR has been nominated to lead 19 universities in Africa for the Strengthening Higher Agriculture Education in Africa (SHAEA) initiative which aims at strengthening agriculture education in Africa,” said Prof Swanepoel.

He said LUANAR is also collaborating with Michigan State University and are in the process of developing agriculture policy institute, and also is collaborating with University of Pretoria.

He emphasised that such collaborations are important because they will contribute to agricultural development in general as well as the University’s growth.

“We are all aware of the declining tobacco industry in Malawi, for example, hence Southern Africa needs a real agriculture transformation. This is the part of the issues that we can look at as we are revising the curriculum. But more importantly, how we diversify different crops and commodities that smallholder farmers will be depending in terms of transforming the agriculture industry to play a leading role in the country,” said Professor Swanepoel

The stakeholder consultation meeting was one of the several processes involved in the curriculum review.