Improving Mining Education: Revised Curricula for Kabul Polytechnic University

Today, the final workshop for updating mining curricula at Kabul Polytechnic University (KPU) ended in Istanbul, Turkey. Nine staff of KPU’s Faculty of Mines and Geology met their counterparts from the German Technical University of Freiberg to finalise reforming the education programmes. The German Academic Exchange Service implemented the 11-day workshop, supported by the Afghan-German Cooperation.

During the workshop, KPU’s Vice Chancellor, Mr Khaleqi, emphasised, ‘Academic progress is linked to high-quality teaching programmes. In this regard, it is fundamental to update outdated curricula.’ Prof Dr Casten Drebenstedt, from the Technical University of Freiberg, added, ‘We hope that the new curricula will help to exploit Afghanistan’s natural resources efficiently to promote prosperity and development.’

The old curricula have been in place for more than 30 years and do not consider the latest scientific research and technologies. Therefore, the programmes have been adapted.   Reformed bachelor programmes include Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology as well as Oil and Gas Exploration. The new study plans will contribute to placing skilled and specialised professionals in the Afghan labour market and help exploiting economic potential efficiently.

Since May 2017, professors and lecturers from KPU and their colleagues from Freiberg met regularly to jointly reform the curricula. Other mining bachelor programmes at the KPU have been reformed before, including Open Pit Mining, Underground Mining, and Exploration Geology. Now, all mining programmes offered by KPU’s Faculty of Mines and Geology meet modern standards.

The faculty’s professors and lecturers need training to apply the curricula. The Afghan-German Cooperation’s programme Academic Mining Education in Afghanistan AMEA will support the learning process. For example, the programme finances a new laboratory for geosciences at the KPU to promote the application of practice-oriented teaching. The laboratory will be installed soon.

The programme Academic Mining Education in Afghanistan (AMEA) is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Foreign Office (AA) since 2014. AMEA aims at improving academic mining education in Afghanistan to facilitate the full utilisation of the Afghan extractive sector’s potential. The programme has been helping to modernise university training, adapting it to industry and labour market needs and building an educational network in close cooperation with the Afghan Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE), the Afghan Ministry of Mining and Petroleum (MoMP) and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). So far, AMEA has organised academic courses, scholarships and internship programmes in Iran, Germany, and China for more than 200 Afghan students and lecturers providing them access to up-to-date technical knowledge and innovative teaching methods. The programme has also provided practically oriented advanced training and networking events on mining education for more than 600 university lecturers since 2014.

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