Assessment of Nutrition Competency of Graduating Agriculture Students in Ethiopia: A Cross-sectional Study

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Abstract

Objective:

To assess the level of nutrition-sensitive agriculture competencies of graduating midlevel animal and plant sciences students in Ethiopia and identify factors associated with the attainment of competencies.

Design:

A cross-sectional study design using structured skills observation checklists, objective written questions, and structured questionnaires was employed.

Setting:

Two agriculture technical vocational education and training colleges in the 2 regions of Ethiopia.

Participants:

A total of 145 students were selected using stratified random sampling techniques from a population of 808 students with the response rate of 93%.

Main Outcome Measures:

Nutrition-sensitive agriculture competency (knowledge and skills attributes) of graduating students.

Analysis:

Bivariate and multivariable statistical analyses were used to examine the association between the variables of students' gender, age, department, institutional ownership, and perception of learning environment and their performance in nutrition competency.

Results:

Combined scores showed that 49% of students demonstrated mastery of nutrition competencies. Gender and institutional ownership were associated with the performance of students (P < .001); male students and students at a federal institution performed better.

Conclusions and Implications:

The study showed low performance of students in nutrition competency and suggested the need for strengthening the curriculum, building tutors' capacity, and providing additional support to female students and regional colleges.

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