Students’ Mentos Training for Academic Leaders
The mentorship program has to be a model and flagship of our university says Dr. Jemal Abafita, president of Jimma University on the students’ mentors training In 2021/22 academic year Jimma University is actively engaged in revitalizing the student mentorship programs to help teaching and learning activities. A half-day students’ mentoring refresh training is given to Jimma university academic leaders comprised of college deans, college academic vice deans, directors, coordinators, and head departments.
The training was officially opened by Dr. Jemal Abbafita, president of the university, and said student mentorship engagement is one of the major activities of higher education, but it has been fading over time. Therefore we need to revitalize this significant duty of academicians. Therefore, we are grateful for the dedicated activity and initiatives that have been taken to rejuvenate the basic activity of mentorship in higher education institutions. Further, the president stressed that the management is aggressively working on making the mentorship program a model and flagship of Jimma University
On the other hand, the academic vice president of Jimma University, Dr. Tadesse Habtamu explained that “feedbacks we got from the students’ mentorship lead us to have such training with the academic leaders.” Our students must be independent learners, and we make them to be. He adds, as academic leaders, we will have more responsibility in supporting the mentorship process at its maximum level and need to act on the challenges to come to success. On this training, two papers were presented that followed by discussions with the participants. Prof. Birhanu Nigusie presented an overview of mentorship in international and local contexts, whereas Dr. Desalegn Beyene presented reflections of the main points from former mentorship training conducted at college levels.
Finally, a way forward discussion session has been conducted, which was chaired by Dr. Tedesse Habtamu, academic vice president, and Dr. Kenenisa Lemi administrative and students’ service vice president. In the discussion session participants raised issues like the establishment of the independent office, preparing a handbook and guidelines, a mechanism in which we benefit mentors engaged in mentorship, and how to institutionalize, make mentorship daily activities and owning it so that it can be Jimma University’s brand. It has also been said in this discussion that if it has to be a flagship, it needs to be new in approach and contents. In general, the participants have agreed on the importance of students’ mentorship and stressed that a mentorship activity demands great heart, passion, and soul of supporting future destinations of our students.