Secondary and Higher Vocational Agricultural Education and Training Policies in Egypt

Secondary and Higher Vocational Agricultural Education and Training Policies in Egypt

 Par E.O.Abusteit

       Vocational agricultural training is considered as an essential part of the educational system at secondary and high education institutions by all national partners in Egypt: Ministry of high education, Ministry of agriculture and land reclamation, Research centers, farmers cooperatives, employers in companies and the industrial sector. There was a major shift during the last 20 years in the Job market requirements and its main source of demand for agricultural professionals from governmental to the private sector employment. Consequently, higher ratio of unemployment problem emerged. Thus, there was a need to establish a system of continued education to diffuse scientific knowledge and skills as required by the job market among agricultural professionals in all areas related to production, quality control, management of available resources for sustainable development and rural community advancement.

     Accordingly, secondary and high education institutions became committed to graduate professionals able to develop the agricultural sector, serve the community and conserve the environment and cope with the recent advances in agriculture. Therefore, there are continuous efforts in progress to develop and implement new academic programs to cope with international developments in order to produce competent graduates capable of contributing to the improvement of investment in production and scientific research. The National Academic references standards (NARS) have bean approved by the Egyptian supreme council of higher Education by the end of 2006. The new undergraduate programs provide a wide spectrum of scientific disciplines and specialties to fit student's interests and the job market demands. Successful completion of field or laboratory training for six weeks, during the last 2 summer vacations of the 4 years of academic studies became a graduation requirement.

    Confronting the relatively high unemployment requires vocational training means in order to provide essential skills and practices for graduates, farmers and needy families in rural communities to start their own micro productive projects through loans granted by the social funds for development after successful completion of their training programs. Therefore, a national project for internship and career development for graduates was initiated by a presidential decree from 2000-2005.

     The faculty of agriculture at Cairo University (as an example) participated actively in that project by establishing: Internship and career development unit (580 training program/8318 trainees) and the center for rural development and studies. Also, the Faculty offers an open learning system entitled Reclamation and Cultivation of Desert Soils for Egyptian and Arab students.


A- Internship and career development unit

            A set of training programs were designed through collaborative efforts by Faculty staff, employers and farmers cooperatives to address the job market demands.

Those 18 intensive training programs (3weeks -3 months) were conducted under faculty staff supervision to cover the following production activities: poultry, eggs, rabbits, cattle, Mushroom , sheep , goats , vegetable crops , ornamentals , flowers nurseries , bakery  technology , food products , fruits , dairy products , detergents , perfumes , honey bee and royal jelly. Also, special training programs for management of farm machinery and computer applications were carried out. The unit other tasks and services include:

1-      specific training programs (1-2 weeks) for governmental agencies employees and       

      NGO's targeted population and the Industrial modernization Center.

2-      Special training program for secondary agricultural schools teachers was designed and conducted through cooperation with MUCIA (Midwest Universities Consortium for International Activities).

3-      Establishment of a data base for training activities.

4-      Workshops for graduates about: professional preparation of C.V. - communication skills - professional ethics.

5-      Serving as a link between graduates and employers (Companies, agencies, farms and research centers) to provide suitable candidates for the announced job opportunities (jobs in the last 3 years).

6-      Training services for trainees from Palestine, Syria and Yemen.

B- The Center for Rural Development Research and Studies

            The Center provides training activities at national, regional and International scales:

1-         Training of foreign students on case study about irrigation management.

2-         GIS applications – Arc view.

3-         Studies of Arabic and Egyptian Culture.

4-         Tools of spatial representation.

5-         Statistical analysis and the use of SPSS.

6-         Skills of agricultural extension.

7-         Preparation of MSc, PhD and postdoctoral studies with French universities and Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari.

8-         Multi joint scientific degree has bean approved for using the distance learning in rural development (France, Greece, Morocco and Egypt).

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