ECS has conducted a curriculum development project with colleagues from the Jimma University College of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine in Ethiopia as part of a larger program on the development of the competitive strength of the horticulture sector. The project was grounded in the ideas of and research on competence-based education with a strong focus on workplace learning. In a close cooperation between partners from The Netherlands and Ethiopia, the competence-based curriculum development process was tried in the Ethiopian context. The aim was to collaboratively learn the possibilities and boundaries of transferring the competence-based, work-oriented curriculum approach to the context of a developing country.
Workplace learning actually has two meanings in the context of this chapter. First, the horticulture curriculum needs to be changed to become a competence-based curriculum which should incorporate as much workplace (oriented) learning as possible. Second, the teachers in Ethiopia are going through a professionalization trajectory while working. They work as a teacher and educational developer, but through collaborating in this project, they learn and improve their educational competencies while working.
Results of the project were that there were: a horticulture curriculum was developed at Master level, and the Bacholor curriculum was re-designed. Students participated and graduated. The vast majority of them found employment in relevant jobs in the sector. Some started their own business. The horticulture curriculum development model used was cited as excellent in the independent evaluation report on the business process redesign in JUCAVM. It is used as a reference model for other curriculum development projects in Jimma University.
For a full description of the project see:Mulder, M & J. Gulikers (2010).
Workplace learning in East Africa: A Case Study.
Malloch, M., L. Cairns, K. Evans and B. O'Connor (2010). The SAGE Handbook of Workplace Learning. London: SAGE, ISBN: 9781847875891, pp. 307-318.