EDUCATION AND TRAINING

AGRICOLLEGES international opens for applications

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AGRICOLLEGES international, an AgriSETA accredited, agricultural e-learning platform, has opened for short course applications. The first short course to launch will be an Introduction to Agribusiness – a 6 week course on 12 March 2018.

AGRICOLLEGES international intends to significantly expand its skills development short course offering over the coming months and will cover a variety of agricultural and agri-related topics by 2020. Courses are designed to upskill recent school leavers and those with prior experience, while enabling students to learn-as-they-earn.

The initial short course offering will include foundational courses in Agribusiness, Plant Production and Animal Husbandry. These will be followed by more specialised courses focused on specific crops and livestock, including, courses in citrus, avocados, macadamias, table grapes, maize, cattle, dairy, poultry, pigs and many more.

“We will soon open applications to our accredited NQF Level 4 National Certificate in General Agriculture,” says AGRICOLLEGES international Founder, Howard Blight. “This one-year qualification that will open for applications in March 2018, will provide students with a broad understanding of all types of agriculture and will be another exciting milestone for the institution.”

“We are offering learners from all walks of life the opportunity to study a range of the Agri-Sciences and improve their skills, both in agriculture and in their understanding of technology. We offer them hope for a brighter future,” adds Blight.

“In a country with high unemployment like South Africa, e-learning offers a more affordable way for our youth to equip themselves with the skills they need to become more employable.”

As access to the internet explodes across Africa, AGRICOLLEGES international aims to give those who want to further their education the opportunity to do so by revolutionising the teaching and training of agri-related subjects.
“There remains a chronic shortage of trained human resources coming into our industry,” says Blight. Through an online blended-learning model that offers lower costs and relevant modern course content, courses are designed to equip students with much needed knowledge and competencies, coupled with the practical application of the academic course-work, that can be used to bridge the skills gaps currently facing the industry.

“The increasing demands being placed on the agricultural sector requires that we step up to help grow the skills pool, reduce unemployment, promote economic development and drive improved food security and thereby social security in the decades to come. We believe that one of the ways to do this is through a combination of cloud-based education and technology,” says Blight.

AGRICOLLEGES international provides students with an opportunity to gain a qualification in general agriculture using a modern, blended-learning approach that provides both convenience and connectivity. Most of the learning and assessment will take place on the Brightspace learning management system (LMS), which offers interactivity and participation between students and the facilitators.

The blended-learning environment involves combining independent online learning with the concept of shared-learning in terms of insights and information, and face-to-face practical training. AGRICOLLEGES international has also partnered with existing top organisations and institutions across South Africa to offer practical learning sessions at Practicals Destinations. In addition to studying online, students are required to attend up to 10 days of formal practical learning at one or more of these facilities.

“Our e-learning platform enables students and educators to collaborate and connect in a wonderfully exciting environment. This is the way of the future and the subject of agriculture which includes all the agri-affiliated industries, are critical to the food security of our continent.

I am extremely grateful to everyone at AGRICOLLEGES international who has poured their passion into getting us to this point. We are now well into our journey and our collective view of the way forward, is clear. I have no doubt that it’s going to be an extremely exciting and successful outcome” concludes Blight.

To drive the need to educate and empower South African youth, AGRICOLLEGES international will, for a limited period, offer students the opportunity to enrol in the first course, Introduction to Agribusiness (Level 1) at a 50% discounted fee of only R 2,400 (excluding the R 100 application fee).

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