Spotlight: Beatrice Chihwamira, BSc Student, Chinhoyi University of Technology

Date: 6 December 2017

Related Project: Enhancing nutrition and food security through improved capacity of agricultural higher education institutions in East and Southern Africa

Beatrice V Chihwamira is 22 years old and lives in Harare, Zimbabwe. She is a 4th year student at Chinhoyi University of Technology studying a Bachelor’s degree in Crop Science.

The Project and its relevance
The Edulink Project seeks to enhance food and nutritional security in East and Southern Africa by enhancing the capacity of teaching staff in Higher Education institutions. The project is building capacities by delivering trainings in various aspects of design and review of curricula and how to deliver effective teaching to enhance the quality of graduates and to create a positive attitude in agricultural students.

One of the main project activities was to provide suitable agricultural teaching and learning resources such as overhead projectors and greenhouse and equipment. Provision of these facilities improved our learning as teaching staff could prepare power point slides that improved our understanding of the subject through easy to understand illustrations. In addition, the greenhouse constructed with the aid of money from this project allowed us to carry out small agricultural related projects in order to gain work experience which would further help us in our studies. Through these small projects, we were able to address in small ways mitigating negative effects of climate change through activities such as afforestation in which we planted fruit trees in an orchard with minimum use of fertilizers and we practised more of organic agriculture.

How did you become involved?
I became involved in this project through a club that we formed in class called Agroprenuers which was aimed at improving our practical agricultural skills and create a positive attitude towards agricultural training through exposing us in real life agricultural production situations.

The Project and your role?
I worked as a research assistant in the project where I would be involved in various activities at the farm and tree nursery establishment. I also had the chance to work with other student by educating them during their practical sessions at the farm. I have also had the chance to write articles and some off which have been uploaded on the internet for publicity. I have also had the chance to attend meetings with Proffesor Musundire and Dr Mwangi and in the process gained insight on my future career pathways.

What advantages does working with international partners bring?
As a student beneficiary, we interacted with the project coordinator from Kenya, Dr Maina Mwangi at Chinhoyi University of Technology during his visit to our University. He gave us a motivating talk, regarding great opportunities in the agricultural sector. This created a positive attitude towards our Agricultural degree programmes. Additionally, through our Dean and the Projector Coordinator visits to Università Dele Politecnica in Europe, Italy, we learnt the collaborations resulted a Postgraduate opportunity for one of our fellow student. This encouraged us a lot and gave us hope of finding similar opportunities in future.

What are your expectations from the results?

This project created a very good positive learning environment in the Department of Crop Science and Postharvest Technology. As a group of students, we liked our studies more due availability of better learning facilities provided through funds from this project. The staff members in our Department also facilitated formation of the Agroprenuers club which transformed immensely our attitude towards agricultural training. In my class, we are highly motivated to pursue our agricultural training as there is now a sense of direction created through participating in some project activities. The project coordinators also involved us in understating the quality assurance systems in our University and this helped us in understanding certain administrative measures put in place by our University.

Have you identified any impact to date?
The project has had a great impact on me. I have gained experience in agricultural activities as a whole as well as marketing and purchasing of products. With the skills I have gained I can safely say I can now start my own agricultural project which can flourish. I use the information in my day to day life to teach other students and farmers who have not had the opportunity to work with Edulink.

This project created a very good positive learning environment in the Department of Crop Science and Postharvest Technology. As a group of students, we liked our studies more due availability of better learning facilities provided through funds from this project. The staff members in our Department also facilitated formation of the Agroprenuers club which transformed immensely our attitude towards agricultural training. In my class, we are highly motivated to pursue our agricultural training as there is now a sense of direction created through participating in some project activities. The project coordinators also involved us in understating the quality assurance systems in our University and this helped us in understanding certain administrative measures put in place by our University.

 

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