Dr John James Okiror (PhD)

Dr John James Okiror (PhD) (Makerere University)

Research title: Developing vocational pedagogy to enhance the learning and teaching of agriculture in African schools and reduce youth unemployment

Research project: Africa’s population is relatively young and unemployment is a key development concern, yet the agriculture sectors which employs 70% of the people, lack skilled manpower. While school systems are increasingly under attack for failing to equip graduates with employable skills, their performance largely depends on the capacities of the teachers to interpret and implement curricula. The challenge is that agriculture in higher education is often taught by professionals who lack a background orientation to the teaching methods. These subject matter specialists are often more concerned with mastery of the subject than active engagement of learners in a learning experience. This proposal is designed to assess the pedagogical methods used for teaching agriculture in Uganda and Ghana in light of the paradigm shift towards competence-based curricula. Two cross-sectional survey studies will be done in Uganda and Ghana to: Assess the extent the contexts under which agricultural curricula are implemented in African schools; Examine the pedagogical methods used by agriculture teachers and instructors in post-primary education institutions; Assess the training needs of agriculture teachers for effective teaching of the subject; and, Explore collaborative opportunities for jointly implementing a Vocational Agriculture Curriculum at Makerere University. Two separate surveys will be conducted in Uganda (June-July 2016) and Ghana (September 2016) with guidance from University of Cambridge.

Cambridge Collaborators: Professor Geoff Hayward and Dr. Mark Winterbottom, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge

Ghanaian Collaborator: Dr Seth Boateng, Department of Agricultural Extension, University of Ghana