The agricultural vocational school CFAR in Niofoin, Cote d’Ivoire is embarking on its second year
The agricultural vocational school CFAR was closed between March and May 2020 in order to comply with COVID-19-related nationwide restrictions on community meetings and gatherings. While striving to maintain contact with students and their families, the school administration used this time to work on the school’s curriculum and adjust its content to the local needs and context. Despite the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 crisis, 30 students successfully completed the first academic year, demonstrating good academic performance. In August and September, they were also able to master their practical skills by spending four weeks working in local farms.
Throughout this first year, the school’s management committee - comprised of local farmers – was actively involved in the implementation and monitoring of the school’s food production systems, with production also benefiting from the direct supervision of the school director and the expertise of Fert’s agricultural technicians. As a result, the vegetables, meat, rice, corn and bean produced by the school helped provide students with a diverse and healthy diet, while the production surplus was sold on local markets.
The 2020 / 2021 school year started on September 28th, 2020, with 34 new first year students joining. As was the case with the first cohort of students admitted last year, this second cohort will follow a first year curriculum including both theoretical and practical sessions. Meanwhile, second year students will start working on their graduation projects to be presented in June 2021, which are an important milestone for students and instrumental to the success of their integration into working life. Meetings with professionals, study trips and debates have been scheduled throughout the school year to help students prepare and defend these projects.