On 21 and 22 October the NICHE TACATI project, funded by NUFFIC, had its Closing Conference. TACATI stands for Transforming Agricultural Colleges into Agricultural Training Institutes.
The project assisted twelve South African Agricultural colleges all across the country to make this transformation in the past five years. As part of this project the colleges have revised their curricula applying Competence Based Learning, which orients courses towards the needs of private sector and farmers. They have also updated their policies and put into place new Quality Assurance standards.
Additionally, the colleges revised the gender sensitiveness within their education structures. New courses on Rural Wealth Creation have been formulated and applied to assist the rural populations in their respective Provinces. Lastly, but certainly not the least achievement, they have designed and implemented a Management Information System that allows to manage all student and course related data and information.
This five year 2 million Euro project was implemented by a consortium of MDF, ICRA, AERES and CDI, with CDI taking the lead. Their South African counterparts was the team from Sector Colleges, part of the Agricultural Ministry and SA experts related to each of the priority change topics. The main methodology applied were the so-called Communities of Learning and Action (COLAs) which allowed for peer learning and action of groups of interested colleges. Speakers from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, The Netherlands Embassy and Nuffic commended the results.