iCRA was given the task to strengthen the ability of Holeta ATVET college to deliver quality, gender sensitive, and demand-driven entrepreneurial and practically oriented education, training and applied research in the field of commercial agriculture. An essential objective was to ensure Holeta incorporates the evolving needs of the labour market and private sector in its training programmes.
The Ethiopian government has high ambitions for its agricultural sector and emphasis the critical role for the Agricultural Technical and Vocational Education Training (ATVET) colleges in the country. Due to its history, location and commitment, Holeta ATVET College was selected as high potential candidate to become a centre of excellence in commercial agriculture.
As lead of a consortium with partners CINOP Global, ITC-ILO and KIT, iCRA coordinated the revision of Holeta’s: management system and organizational culture, curricula, training materials, outreach programmes and upgrading of its facilities. In addition, iCRA facilitated staff skills development through training workshops, long-term and short courses and personal coaching.
Holeta college is increasingly popular and doing well. A tracer study showed that the 5-year average graduate pass-rate in 2017 was 89%; with the national target being 67%. The number of students has gone up too, from 944 in the year 2012 to 1520 enrolled in 2017 with the percentage of female students increasing from 45% to 53%. The college got selected to run a bachelor’s degree in agriculture and agribusiness and in addition is now also preparing to start with MSc courses.
The college has developed an entrepreneurial spirit. Holeta’s revived outreach program now effectively links the college (including the college farm / laboratories) to relevant agribusiness stakeholders to broker and coordinate internships, to develop and sell short courses, and to organise applied research (transfer of technology) activities. Coaching and training of Holeta management staff in colloborative and facilitative leadership led to increased transparency as experienced among staff; more effective project management skills; affirmative actions toward gender mainstreaming and increased advisory opportunities to the private sector.