Conservation schools consult on curriculum devt

Representatives from conservation institutions and schools in the region met last week in Kigali to contribute toward curriculum development for Kitabi College of Conservation and Environmental Management (KCCEM).
Tourism director Rica Rwigamba (R) awards a student at Kitabi. The New Times/ File.
Tourism director Rica Rwigamba (R) awards a student at Kitabi. The New Times/ File.

Representatives from conservation institutions and schools in the region met last week in Kigali to contribute toward curriculum development for Kitabi College of Conservation and Environmental Management (KCCEM).

The school is diversifying its academic programmes and developing a new Diploma in Wildlife Tourism as part the third phase of the MacArther Foundation Project.

This comes as a result of the skills gaps identified in the tourism sector during the needs assessment carried out in the Albertine region in 2011.

“We are aiming at coming up with a curriculum so that we produce graduates who will meet the market demand; and this is why we want efforts of our counterparts in other countries since our students come from these countries as well,” said Richard Nasasira, the Principal of KCCEM.

He said the two-day workshop is to consult if changes can be made or other programmes be added in the draft curriculum.

In partnership with the College of African Wildlife Mweka and Rwanda Tourism University College, the school has developed a draft curriculum.

Nasasira said he is optimistic that changes in the draft will effectively work towards the skills gaps currently in the sector.

“This will give the curriculum development team the opportunity to discuss the first draft of the curriculum with regional stake holders basically in the tourism and conservation sector,” he said.

KCCEM mainly trains students from Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya and DR Congo. Officials say so far, more than 600 students have graduated from the school with certificate in short courses on conservation and tourism studies, while 40 have had diplomas.

The Director-General of the National Institute of Environment and Nature Conservation of Burundi, Mohamed Feruzi, said the skills gaps have been caused by the lack of consultation to identify market demands.

“We need team work and commitment in the Albertine Rift Valley region if we are to develop and bridge conservation and tourism skills gap; but I think we have somewhere to start from based on what we are currently doing,” he said.

Briefly, Feruzi highlighted on the dangers of skills gap in the sector saying it affects tourism which he says the almost ranks highest in revenue earning of the region.

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