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School of Agricultural Sciences reviews the Recess Term curriculum

Makerere University School of Agricultural Sciences has revised its Recess Term curriculum to promote practical learning and churn out graduates suitable for the job market.

The decision was championed by the new Dean School of Agricultural Sciences Dr. Patrick Okori, following a meeting with students at  the launch of the recess term activities at Makerere University Agricultural Research Institute Kabanyolo on June 4, 2011. Over 100 students in the fields of Agriculture, Food science and Horticulture undergo their training at the institute for a period of eight weeks after sitting theoretical exams every year.

Dean SAS, Dr. Patrick Okori  during the review exercise


In a  two day meeting held on July 14- 15th 2012,  staff acknowledged that recess term teaching quality  was declining. This was attributed to duplication of the curriculum over the years, over congestion of the timetable, inadquate planning, poor staff and students attitudes towards recess term among others.

Staff members agreed to revisit the curriculum and consolidate fragmented disciplines based on courses and implement the changes in the ongoing recess term. Heads of departments identified holistic practical experiences in Kabanyolo that each department can realistically provide, draft a new timetable to incorporate the changes and adequately prepare for the subsequent years.

SAS staff during the review process

Staff also agreed to revisit the  tool  for assessment and evaluation  that includes social skills for assessment and feedback  such that  evaluation  includes summative assessment for improvement and  assessment that includes host organization, field supervisor and academic supervisor, and peer assessment.

A team was selected to develop an evaluation and assessment tool for recess term activities where students working on different projects will be assigned a mentor to guide them and at the end students will demonstrate what they have learnt in a forum such as a seminar or open day.

In order to effectively implement the proposed curriculum, staff agreed to improve supervision by building competency in social skills of the academic and field supervisors and also give a thorough preparation of students for field attachment before hand, make three field visits including time for sharing experiences with host organization/communities; a week of personal reflection, preparing feedback and finally holding Feedback workshops.

Recess term coordinator Bernard Obaa during the review process

To create conditions for deep learning by students, the school will be looking at how enterprises are interlinked, putting emphasis on group student field attachments in specified field centres rather than individual  using a problem based learning approach.

To strengthen co-ordination, it was agreed that there should be a full time coordinator working with a core team to identify host organizations, seek funding and  create partnerships. The coordinator will also  establish learning sites to ensure students are in the right environment, give a reflection on experiences for Field Attachment improvement and look at other products beyond the student reports and other ways of motivating them into Field attachment.

 The major identified key competence areas for Recess Term included, skills in vegetable growing, Field crop and Animal production, Poultry (Broilers and layers), Dairy production and Goat production. Others were Piggery, Apiary (Bees), Rabbits, Farm records and accounts, Extension and Education and Engineering.

The school  repackage its training based on the following skills


Skill area



Vegetable growing

  • Seed and nursery practices
  • Field management (insects, weeds and diseases)
  • Post harvest handling


Field  crop production

Perennial crops: Coffee and bananas

Annual crops: Maize, soybeans

Rehabilitation of  coffee and banana plantations

  • Weeding
  • Pruning,
  • Herbicide application
  • Harvesting

Maize  and irrigation



Raising broilers from chick to slaughter

  • Brooder process
  • Feed mixing
  • Vaccination
  • Litter management
  • Finisher management
  • Slaughter, processing and marketing
  • Making feeders and drinkers


Dairy Production

Rehabilitation of the zero grazing unit

  • Fencing
  • Making watering troughs
  • Crutch repair
  • Floor repairs
  • Making calf pens and sleeping areas

Feeding animals

  • Stall feeding
  • Dairy meal mixing
  • Napier grass
  • Hand milking
  • Record keeping
  • Tick management
  • Silage making/molasses
  • Milk testing

Calf Management

Bio-gas production


Goat production

Goat Rearing and management

  • Housing
  • Fencing
  • Feeding

Goat management

  • Drenching
  • Spraying
  • Dehorning
  • Behooving
  • Castration


Piggery(Only organic)

Rehabilitation of Housing unit

Management of Piglets

  • Iron supplements
  • Identification
  • Castration
  • Teeth treaming

Feeding and feed mixing

Heat detection

Artificial Insemination

Selection of breeding stock



Management of Rabbits

  • House construction
  • Feeding
  • Growth rate
  • Feeds(Pelteting)
  • Management of the doe



Hive construction

Site selection






Propagation of Avocados and Passion fruits

  • Grafting
  • Cutting
  • Layering
  • Tissue culture


  • Prunning
  • Trellis

 Rehabilitation/Establishment  of a pineapple and avocado garden


Post harvest handling



Seed and nursery practices

Field management( insects, weeds and diseases)

Post harvest handling


Records and Accounts

Management records

Profit and loss records

Production and activity records

Financial records

Labour records

Machinery and equipment

Supplementary records

Agro input records


Soil Science(Fertility)

Fertilizer application methods

Qualitative soil assessment using testing kits



Extension /Education

Set up demonstrations


Posters and leaflets




Farm structure

Farm implements


Repair (workshop skills)

Contact us

Office of the Principal

College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences - Makerere University

P.O.Box, 7062, Kampala, Uganda

Tel: +256-414-542277

Email: principal@caes.mak.ac.ug