With the PhD Curriculum Review Workshop at its main campus on Wednesday - June 26, 2013, Arba Minch University has taken the first step towards a quantum leap in Water Resources Engineering as it is set to launch its maiden PhD Program in Irrigation and Drainage Engineering in the next academic year 2006 EC (2013-14).
The Vice-President for Academic Affairs, Dr Agena Anjulo, speaking in the program, said, ‘‘In recent years, the country has planned ambitious growth and transformation targets which require development and utilization of vast and untapped water resources. However, GTP seriously suffers from dearth of professionals at higher level such as PhD. Professionals who can plan, design and implement research and development projects at large scale.
And AMU in its 26 years of teaching-learning, research and community service delivery has matured enough and deserves to launch this PhD program in Irrigation and Drainage Engineering,’’ he averred.
Scientific Director, Dr Negash Wagesho, has opinioned that this PhD curriculum review workshop is the culmination of Arba Minch Institute of Technology’s incessant efforts in training professionals in water resources engineering.
The director of WRRC, Dr Mekonen Ayana, in his explicit presentation of PhD Curriculum, said, ‘‘Our water resources development program capacity building endeavours suffered due to lack of PhD-level professionals. AMU has spent 20 years in learning and now we deserve to launch PhD program.’’
External reviewers – Senior Irrigation Engineer and Researcher, Dr Tilahun Hordofa, from Ethiopian Agricultural Institute, MELKASA, Sr. Researcher from International Water Management Institute (IWMI), Dr Alemseged Tamiru and Researcher in Climate Change & Hydrology, Addis Ababa, and Deputy Scientific Director of Hawassa Institute of Technology and irrigation Engineer and Hydrologist, Dr Moltot Zewudie, made some pertinent observations on PhD curriculum.
Dr Tilahun noted that more courses and credit hours be increased. Dr Alemseged wanted AMU to formulate a strategy to strengthen link with industry. He further opinioned that curriculum’s General Provision is not exhaustive; and AMU should also clarify its stand as to how many PhD scholars it would like to have.
Dr Moltot took exception to the idea of Students Dissertation Advisory Committee S-DAC suggesting courses to students rather it should be vice a versa.
Dr Agena Anjulo added that AMU should have major courses for those students coming from respective streams; but those coming from other background can take courses mentioned in the curriculum.
Vice President for Research and Community services, Dr Guchie, while making AMU’s point of view clear said, ‘‘Courses to be decided by AMU should be based on the subjects PhD students take for their research. Some course will be redesigned keeping in view the suggestions made from across the board. Vice President for Administration and Development, Dr Kassa, espoused the idea to have consensus on the issue of courses and to strike a balance few new courses should be included.
Indian instructor Prof. Dr Pratap Singh wanted credit hours to be specified for PhD research work and a course on climate change should also be included in the curriculum. Dr Mekonen Ayana and Dr Negash Wagesho reflected on the observations made by the external reviewers.
By Philips Joseph