Animal science - the missing link between teaching and practice

Animal science is one of well-developed sector in Indonesia, especially poultry, both its science and industry. In the poultry sector, the chicken population is varied, from traditional/small-scale poultry farmers to giant poultry players in the industry, such as feed, breeding, processing and veterinary medicine industries.

Based on the facts, animal science industries need a lot of graduates who major in Animal Science and/or Poultry Science. Additionally, the industry needs employees that can not only think analytically, logically and creatively, but also have knowledge and technical experiences.

The problem is that when students of animal science are in their faculty/dept., they often get taught many theories, and only a small part of their syllabus is technical practices. Even the lecturers themselves do not often share with their students the real challenges that will face the students after graduation, and the requirements needed by the animal industries. Consequently, many of these students will be confronted with difficulties when they do step into the real animal science profession, and many will not be able to fulfil the industry’s requirements because they lack knowledge and technical experiences. As a result, many students actually decide to venture into a completely different field altogether.

This should be a great lesson for animal science lecturers, and specifically for the faculty/dept. officer, to set a new education system of animal science with both industry and research orientation. Additionally, in order to fulfil the requirements needed by the poultry (animal) industry, the education system should contain a relationship between faculty/dept. and the industry so that the industry can share new information and technology related to animal science and provide some technical training for the students.

I would like to bring this to the attention of readers because I would like to see the missing link between academic and industry vanish so that all of us can take a part in making animal science and the industry more successful and developed.


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    I fully sgree with you and this is true for many feveloping countries. We had some polytechinic institutes with a syllabus of 60% field practices and 40% theoratical. Unfortunately they have been upgraded to full colleges offering Bachlor degrees. In addition to this there is no applied research in the educational institutes, which directly address industry problems.

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    After reading your article i can not help but to add my own experience in Ghana as an animal science graduate to drive home a point of how in the third world, industries are alieneated from the training institutions like the universities and the polytechnics. Most graduates come out of the university without practically carring out some of the things they were thought and this pose a lot of difficulty and embarassment to such graduates. This problem stems from ilequipped laboratories or obsolate equippment. Also, there is too much theoretical activities with less emphasis on practical work. Animal science is an act that must be practiced over time to attain the hightest hands-on experience.

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    I fully agree with the concept of correlating education with field experience. Unlike professional courses like chartered accountancy, law etc., other courses lack field experience and many fail in the concept besides defeating the success. Therefore, it must be made compulsory that those who do these courses have to possess field experience and degree or grade has to be awarded based on his success in application oriented areas.

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    Dr.K.Surender Reddy

    What the author made is wrong. I was representing as a Professor in the poultry dept with great link between the industry and the academia so that many industry people appreciated. This was the case in India. It may be the other parts of the world. It also depends upon the teacher for the better exposure the field.
    The other reason is the salaries given to the staff is also meager and it should be increased.
    k s reddy

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    Dr Stephen Adejoro

    This article is a problem statement/analysis, of a glaring skill-gap in the curriculum of univesities teaching Animal science and veterinary medicine, if these graduates are to become very relevant in the growth, sustainability and profitability of the industry, a well-trained animal scientist /poultry veterinarian must be multi-skilled in technical and managerial capabilities.
    I have often preached here in Africa that they must be trained to come out to manage the 4Ms of the industry, ie: Men, Machine, Money, and Materials, apart from their technical background.
    Apart from production principles and theory the knowledge of marketing is also a strenght requirement for would be animal scientist and veterinarians hoping to work as managers in the poultry industry of the millenium.
    I believe that our universities must harness the vast experiences of resouce persons in Town and synergise them with the theory and practice available in Gown for the industry to grow and meet up with numerous challanges on the field.
    I seize this opportunity to call for a review of many school of animal science and veterinary medicine curricula as well as involvement of experts from the industry to bridge the missing gap!

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    Waseem Alshible

    I agree with you. The poultry science must have more interesting especially in studing and our university must change their polition in teaching and must to add 1 year for the scientific application in the field and sculls development
    Best Regards
    D.V.M Waseem Alshible

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