In Saudi Arabia agriculture plays a significant role through its contribution to food security, diversification of the national economy, the combat of desertification and the preservation of the environmental equilibrium. Moreover, agriculture is important for creation of job opportunities for rural people and as a source for income generation, to contribute to the people's welfare and to enhance the rate of growth of the economy.
The role of agriculture and the need for Agricultural Technical Vocational Education & Training
To offer people making a living in agriculture and agriculture-related activities opportunities to acquire, enhance and update their professional competences, the Government founded four Agricultural Training Centres (Hofuf, Al Qasseem, Al Jouf, Al Hassa) which offer a wide range of short courses for agricultural technological and vocational education and training (ATVET).
The actual project
Thanks to the FAO TCP (2006-2011), the ATCs avail of good infrastructural facilities, plots for instruction or experimental purposes, and they are adequately equipped and well-suited for theoretical training. However, for practical training and application of theoretical knowledge the actual facilities, equipment, materials, training content matter and methodology need to be supplemented.
In line with the Government policies and at the request of the Ministry of Agriculture, the project is meant to boost active participation of its own population in commercial agricultural production, developing the competence of the ATC staff in the assessment of training needs, course development and management of training programmes for human resource development in agriculture.
Main intervention domains
The main intervention domains of this project refer to:
- competence-based, utilisation-focused interactive training methodology;
- needs assessment, job-profiling, performance standards and course design;
- training management: methods and tools for design, preparation, implementation and evaluation of training course programmes;
- identification, design and implementation of action-research on capacity building for training;
- strengthening specialised training in technical fields.