Aquaculture Technical, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training for Improved Private Sector and Smallholder Skills project: Online Training Platform Design Workshop Report

BluePlanet, a not-for-profit company based in Norway, partnering with WorldFish on developing the online training platform for Natural Resource Development College (NRDC) Fisheries Science Department under the “Aquaculture Technical, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training for Improving Private Sector and Smallholder Skills” (AQ TEVET) project visited Zambia the week of October 29. Trine Danielsen and Morten Bergslien of BluePlanet made the trip to share more knowledge about their company and to obtain information to inform the development of the online training platform. The main objectives of the workshop were to: (i) have a shared understanding of the online training platform by relevant stakeholders, and (ii) to get the NRDC faculty’s input on some of the curriculum content to be included in the platform. Participants who attended the workshop were from WorldFish, BluePlanet, and NRDC Senior Management, including the Vice Principal, Head of Department Basic Science and Fisheries, Fisheries Science Training Officers, IT Specialist, and many others (see Annex A for the participant list). Dr. Steven Cole, the Project Leader, gave an overview of the online training platform that is being developed by BluePlanet with support from project partners. This was followed by a presentation by BluePlanet on the online training platform focusing on Salmon farmed in Norway. Mr. Morten Bergslien, Platform Designer of BluePlanet, explained that the online training platform was introduced in Norway through BluePlanet Academy, and Zambia will be the first country to implement the online training platform following BluePlanet’s partnership with WorldFish through the AQ TEVET project. He added that BluePlanet will use its experience developing a platform for the Salmon industry to design the online training platform for aquaculture (with focus on Tilapia) in Zambia. Mr. Bergslien requested NRDC through the meeting to provide their aspirations of the online training platform, including the potential challenges of implementing such a training platform and suggest solutions for each challenge. Limited access to internet, patent rights, and invasion of privacy when taking videos for the training at fish farms and other places were some of the key challenges that were highlighted during the meeting. Lastly, the plenary gave an overview of the aquaculture training courses (and content) that should feed into the online training platform. These will be designed as short term aquaculture courses and were extracted from the current NRDC Fisheries Science curriculum and through reflection of what workshop participants envision the upgraded curriculum to contain. The Vice Principal of NRDC, Mr. Zimba, officially closed the workshop.