Gary Magadzire School Of Agriculture And Natural Sciences
SCHOOL’S TRANSFORMATION AND ACHIEVEMENTS SINCE OCTOBER 2012
1.0 CURRICULUM AND NICHE
• Introduced Agriculture degrees ( Soil and Plant Science, and Livestock, Wildlife and Fisheries) in 2015.
• Introduced Certificate in Sugarcane Agriculture in 2017.
• Introduced the following university-wide modules: Communication Skills, Introduction to Zimbabwean Cultures and Heritage, African Philosophy and Thought
• Upgraded all degree programmes from General to Four Year Honours degree programmes with a component of work-related learning
• Infused knowledge on Ethno-Agriculture, Ethno-physics, Ethno-Mathematics, Ethno-Chemistry and Ethnographic management of Environment and Climate Change.
2.0 RELEVANCE TO NICHE
2.1 Agriculture Degree Programmes
The niche of the University is Arts, Culture and Heritage where the school is making a deliberate effort to teach and revive our culture and heritage as a strategy to solve real life developmental and existential problems. Our original crop, livestock and wildlife production systems and eating habits/behaviours have suffered the most from the influence of western culture. As a school, we intend to make a difference and revive the diversity of our food bank through the influence of our School of Agriculture. In addition to teaching and researching conventional agricultural practices, the school seeks to address our current food security issues through strongly advocating for the production of foods originally known in our African culture. Currently, we will offer Soil and Plant Sciences, and Livestock, Wildlife and Fisheries. Future programmes will include Agricultural Development and Agribusiness, Land Development and Management, Agricultural Information and Innovation Studies, Agricultural Water Development and Management and Plantation and Industrial Agriculture.
2.2 Natural Science Degree Programmes
It is a Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education(ZIMCHE) requirement that to offer any Sciences such as agriculture, engineering, medicine etc., natural sciences should be taught. These include Geography, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics. In relation to our niche, culture and Heritage, these basic sciences are used to show the principles that were applied in the sphere of our culture, for example, the building of the Great Zimbabwe Monument which has lasted for centuries means a lot of physics and construction engineering went into it. Examples where these Natural Sciences apply within the niche are listed below.
• Installed work-benches in Biology, Chemistry and Micro-biology laboratories in 2014.
4.0 UPGRADES IN STAFF QUALIFICATIONS
During the period under review the following developments were recorded.
• Three (3) members completed PHDs.
• Sixteen (16) members have registered for PHD studies.
• Seven (7) members completed masters degrees.
5.0 LINKS TO ZIMASSET
The programmes in the school have been harmonised and realigned to the Food Security and Nutrition cluster of the Zimbabwe Agenda for Socio-Economic Transformation (ZimAsset), and take into cognisance the land reform programme as the main pillars to foster the country’s development and economic equity. The thrust of the school will be in three main areas that are: increased food production and development, increased productivity and increased product quality. With this thrust, the school’s research agenda shall focus on restoration of African dignity through providing scientific guidance to the African way of life, place African thought/practice and values on the academic pedestal and educate the nation on the intellectual dimension of African existence. In addition, the school’s research efforts will reconstitute into science the indigenous knowledge using our traditional products and emphasize the value and diversity of culturally known crops which will include small grains such as sorghum and millets.
• The School trains graduates in the areas of Natural Sciences and Agriculture.
• Carries out researches to improve crop production and animal husbandry.
• Introduced Certificate in Agriculture to help sugarcane small holder farmers.