Soybean Innovation Lab Scales Online Integrated Pest Management Course to Mozambique
Local collaborators are critical to the successful scaling of innovations like the Soybean Innovation Lab (SIL) online course platform. In Mozambique, SIL partners with the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) to bring free, online education to the agricultural community. Dr. Amaral Chibeba, post-doctoral researcher at IITA in Mozambique translated SIL’s online Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and pesticide safety course into Portuguese and also provided audio. As a senior agronomist with extensive field experience, he was able to incorporate key terminology and examples unique to Mozambique. Since the launch of the online Portuguese IPM and pesticide safety course in January 2020, this collaboration has expanded to include the Mozambique Institute of Agricultural Research (IIAM) and Mussa Bin Bique University.
The current situation with Covid-19 demonstrates that online courses are an alternative, efficient platform for transmitting knowledge. This situation has caused us to reflect on future strategies for teaching that include a model of a mixture of online and in-person classes, provided that educational institutions are willing to evolve and adapt to new technologies.
-Amina Abudo Amade, MSc, Director and Professor, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Mussa Bin Bique University
Professor Amina Abudo Amade recognizes the need for free, online education offerings to equip students, extension agents, and other agricultural professionals with the critical skills and knowledge to be successful in their agricultural careers. Mussa Bin Bique University (UMBB) in Nampula, Mozambique offers an undergraduate program in agricultural sciences that prepares students for a career in agricultural research and extension. As Director of the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences at UMBB, Professor Amade plans to use the Portuguese translation of SIL's online IPM course as supplementary learning material to complement the university’s crop protection courses. University professors can integrate SIL’s curriculum into their courses for second and third year students to improve their knowledge and awareness of IPM challenges and solutions. Many Mussa Bin Bique University graduates go on to become extension workers for public and private organizations in Nampula Province and across the country.
IITA and IIAM will provide additional, in-person training based on the online course materials to provide more practical examples and advice regarding local context. As UMBB utilizes SIL’s online course materials, Professor Amade will be providing helpful feedback that will allow SIL, IITA, and IIAM to develop more context-specific training materials. This bi-directional feedback loop ensures that agricultural researchers and extension workers have access to the latest and most effective education and training materials through a free, open-access platform. With the addition of this new translation, SIL will be able to reach extension agents and practitioners in Mozambique, Angola, São Tomé and Príncipe, Cape Verde, and Guinea-Bissau.
Interested in partnering with SIL to bring online training courses to your team? Contact SIL Extension Lead, Nicole Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org.