Short Course on General Education (GE) Program in Addressing Food Security in YAU Concluded
Twenty-two lecturers from Yezin Agricultural University (YAU) in Myanmar participated in the Short Course on General Education (GE) Program in Addressing Food Security held on 20-24 February 2017 at YAU.
Organized by SEARCA in cooperation with YAU, the course was conducted by Dr. Daylinda Banzon-Cabanilla, former Professor of the Department of Social Forestry and Forest Governance, College of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB-CFNR). The course was partially funded by the Food Security Center (FSC) project of the University of Hohenheim, which is part of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Program "Exceed" supported by DAAD and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). SEARCA is a strategic partner of the FSC.
In his opening speech, Dr. Tin Htut, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation of Myanmar, stressed the need for institutions of higher education to design and implement severe structural reforms and transformative learning systems. As such, YAU plans to revise its syllabus for agriculture students and considers the inclusion of a GE curriculum.
During the 5-day short course, Dr. Cabanilla provided basic information about GE, its objectives, and curriculum structure. Through workshop activities, the participants were asked to use a combination of teaching techniques that demonstrate the basic concepts and principles of the experiential learning approach to develop critical thinking among students. At the end of the course, the participants were asked to design and demonstrate their own GE course session.
At the closing ceremonies, Dr. Myo Kywe, Rector of YAU, encouraged the participants to use what they learned in their own classrooms and stressed that the short course is just a small step towards major reform that will prepare YAU to combat the challenges of the future; and there is still a long way to go.
YAU is one of four universities under SEARCA's Institutional Development Assistance (IDA) Program, and is Myanmar's only institution of higher learning in agriculture. The IDA intends to empower and equip strategically located universities with the necessary resources to cater to the demands for human resources required to boost economic development in the region.