By Lorraine Anyango
Even though for a while, only the Kenya School of Agriculture (KSA) in Thika and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology have been among the few institutions of higher learning with an updated Nutrition sensitive curriculum, the narrative is slowly changing with Maseno University being next in line to align its nutrition and agriculture curriculum to nutrition-sensitive agriculture and other sectors.
This landmark move aimed at addressing both nutrition-specific interventions saw participants drawn from the Kisumu County Multi-Sectoral Nutrition (MSN), members of the Academia, private sector, selected nutrition champions, and selected local civil society organizations of Kidogo, Jiupachi, and ADS-Nyanza give inputs in a stakeholders workshop whose objective was to discuss and receive stakeholders inputs on the viability of the proposed food and nutrition security curriculum.
Members of the MSN comprising the Department of Education, Health, Social Protection, and Agriculture gave their input, particularly concerning their department’s work touching on nutrition at different levels. The scope of the workshop was expanded to include departments of Environment and Lands.
The MSN which is a coordination mechanism was established to aid joint work plans among the departments developed with an overall goal of realizing a Malnutrition Free Kisumu County.
The curriculum review moves once complete is expected to give rise to a new curriculum, Bachelor of Science in Food and Nutrition Security with IT. This curriculum will have a blend of both nutrition-specific and sensitive in a bid to address the identified gaps in integrating food and nutrition security as per market demands.
The USAID Advancing Nutrition project provided financial assistance for the stakeholder’s workshop.
Once the stakeholders inputs are consolidated in subsequent stakeholder workshops a curriculum drafting workshop will be held.
Mrs. Joyce Nyaboga, Capacity Strengthening Advisor, USAID Advancing Nutrition, encouraged stakeholders to ensure that what they deemed important to their specific sectors was reflected in the curriculum.
Dr. Pauline Andango, Dean School of Public Health was grateful to the USAID Advancing Nutrition project for supporting the review of the curriculum including supporting a learning exchange visit to JKUAT and Kenya School of Agriculture that brought participants drawn from the Division of Nutrition at the National level.
Dr. Agatha Christine, the Head of the Department of Nutrition, at Maseno University was also present to offer guidelines for the curriculum-setting session. The workshop was graced by Ms. Celestine Atieno Ag. The County Director of Technical Institutions and Ms. Lynette Odida, the Regional Director of Social Protection.