With many agricultural colleges being in a fix, students are increasingly flocking to the Peritum Agri Institute, a private agricultural college in the heart of Bloemfontein where students are enjoying the best of two worlds: full-time employment and a flexible class structure.
Speaking to Food For Mzansi, Peritum’s marketing manager, Odette Shepperson, confirms that they have been inundated with calls from students wishing to register for the 2022 intake. The National Diploma: Plant Production and National Diploma: Animal Production are particularly popular because of the hands-on, practical approach.
Also, Peritum students only attend physical classes every six weeks, making the courses highly suitable for people who work full-time. Shepperson says, “Our students can be employed or farm full-time, earning a salary while obtaining their qualification. It also eliminates the cost of permanent accommodation.”
The accredited diploma courses also differ substantially from those offered by traditional and state-owned universities.
“The national diplomas [take] our students on a journey of continuous learning. Both diplomas consist of 13 study weeks, which are spread over 24 months, with a campus week taking place once every six weeks, from Monday to Friday.”
Furthermore, the Peritum focus on practical experience gives students insight into the real world of agriculture, helping them be better prepared for the sector. Shepperson says that the practical nature of the courses makes it appealing for a wide audience – from those who have just matriculated to professionals who wish to get a formal qualification behind their names.
“Because of the highly practical nature of the diplomas, students also don’t write exams, making it very attractive for any prospective student! Anyone can attend the diploma studies, no matter [their] age or gender. The qualifications consist of modules such as farm business management, staff management, financial management and marketing of agri-products.”
Emphasis on practical learning
Assessment at Peritum takes the form of a portfolio students need to complete. The portfolio is handed out at each study week, and students are expected to complete it by the next study week.
“Each portfolio contains summative, formative and group exercises, and are assessed and moderated by external assessors and moderators. Each portfolio must be 100% and the student gets three chances to be declared competent per portfolio.”
Practical learning at Peritum also means a focus on technology and mechanisation. At the forefront of agricultural technology is John Deere, a global manufacturing company. The use of John Deere equipment forms part of both national diploma courses at Peritum, in a module named “Infrastructure and technology”.
“The practicals on this module are done on a tractor, planter, sprayer and harvester. The practical session includes the driving, operating, maintenance and calibration of the machines and GPS system,” explains Shepperson.
“The module also focuses on precision agriculture and new technological trends, and the role of technological precision farming. Guest speakers and experts assist in facilitating this module and cover topics such as ‘How to implement economy and farm mechanisation planning’.”
Ultimately, the Peritum experience builds a stronger, future-focused agricultural sector. The college’s students are in great demand because they have a thorough understanding of the latest trends and challenges in the sector. “The qualifications consist of modules [that ensure] the student is work-ready as soon as they obtain their qualification.”
To find our more about the Peritum experience, call them on 051 451 1120, or toll free on 086 122 8467. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their Facebook and LinkedIn pages. More details on their courses can be found here.
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