The COMEAA experience:
COMEAA is the Mexican Committee for Agronomic Education Accreditation (COMEAA), who since December 2021 established a cooperation alliance with Transforming of Higher Education to promote the accreditation of careers related to agronomy in Mexico and Central America, with the intention of taking the model to the largest number of institutions throughout the region. At the global conference “Transformational Change in Higher Education to address challenges of the 21st Century”, COMEAA presented its six-step framework in which the student is placed at the center of the teaching, breaking with the established schemes in which education focused on the teacher, the curriculum, or even the institution.
These 6 steps are:
- Understand that there are curricula that are obsolete, rigid, little, or not at all innovative.
- Unlearn, forget the traditional pedagogical methods or the academic training process that has been experienced.
- Understand that both teachers and students learn from each other creating disruptive and creative synergies.
- Respond to the purpose of what is taught, since it is not the same to ask, what do you want to study? What do you want to be?
- Discuss the fact that education has changed very little over the years.
- Do not evaluate a model whose objective is not to fail a test.
The framework is made up of six categories and 28 indicators in total, and includes the five key elements of success, not as indicators, but as strategic lines of attention.
Each educational program establishes the strategies, actions, and goals to comply with what is established in each of the five elements, therefore, the goals are measurable and quantifiable.
The work of the Asia-Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Organizations (APAARI):
The Asia-Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Organizations (APAARI) is a unique voluntary, membership-based, self-enforced, non-political, multi-stakeholder organization in the Asia-Pacific region. Promotes and strengthens agricultural and agri-food research and innovation systems through partnerships and collaboration, capacity building and promotion of sustainable agricultural development in the region.
Since its establishment in 1990, it has contributed significantly to addressing agricultural research needs and improving food and nutrition security. The close links, networks, alliances and collaboration with stakeholders that APAARI has developed over the years, as well as its goodwill, authority and focus on results, make the Association a valuable player in the region. APAARI’s ultimate goal is to help achieve sustainable development goals in Asia and the Pacific.
Since 2017, the Association had contact with the Transformation model through GCHERA, with whom they decided to begin a process of conversations and training to make an alliance feasible in 2021-2022.
How does APAARI hope to unite its objectives with those proposed by the project?
- APAARI and GCHERA’s focus on capacity development is aligned with the objective of the TAP Action Plan, which is to “facilitate capacity development for agricultural innovation”.
- Young people are critical to future global development, making it essential that education systems empower graduates to be leaders in catalyzing innovation.
- Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) also need to be empowered to come forward in more active engagement and leadership to make change happen and contribute to sustainability.
- EARTH University Model and experience under the Transforming Higher Education Project, blended with the TAP Common Framework, to be used as an international model for preparing ethical leaders as agents of positive change in addressing social, economic, and environmental challenges.
- Scaling up GCHERA Pilot Project and TAP-related initiatives to interested institutions in Asia-Pacific, with focus on organizational and institutional development of HEIs to benefit small farmers.
Without a doubt, these two organizations are an example of how the model can be adapted and replicated in two very different markets, with very different climatic, social, and environmental needs, among others.
Video of the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences of the University of Panama. Green West Panama Movement.
Video of Agroentrepreneurs FCA UP. Uncle Remy’s Farm from the University of Panama.