Expanding Capacity in Agriculture Education
Additional Partners: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Northwest Frontier Agricultural University (Pakistan)
In 2001, at the end of the Taliban era, Balkh University Faculty of Agriculture had seven students. Within several years, eager students had flocked to the university, where 15 faculty members struggled to teach hundreds of students. The institution had few books or other resources, and what they had was out-of-date.
Southern Illinois University Carbondale and Balkh University Faculty of Agriculture—with support from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Northwest Frontier Agricultural University in Pakistan—cooperated to provide the Balkh University Faculty of Agriculture with the information they needed to modernize the curriculum and update teaching methodologies. They named the partnership Higher Education Assistance for Afghanistan: Balkh University Agriculture Faculty Development.
Through the partnership, Balkh University strengthened its agriculture curriculum, received teaching resources such as computers, LCD projectors, books, and CDs. They also conducted crop demonstrations and other experiments on its small campus farm— made possible by small grants obtained by one partner, Joint Development Associates International. Approximately 767 Afghans received training through the partnership. The partner universities signed a Memorandum of Understanding sealing their commitment to continue their joint activities.
The partnership supported the development of technical knowledge and expertise in the Departments of Plant Science, Animal Science, and Forestry/Horticulture, modernization of curriculum, enhanced teaching techniques and technologies for applying those improvements within the classroom and in the field.
At a Glance
Apr 2005–Jun 2007