ARU’s Education Model is a conduit for societal wide, systemic and structural change. It’s based on the University philosophy, vision, mission, values and working premises. The model‘s philosophical foundation calls for a fundamental shift in life orientation from the problem solving to the creative orientation. People in the creative orientation understand and develop commitment on what they truly want to achieve in life. Not only through visioning, but also in action. It permits genuine democratic participation and improves ownership and leadership qualities. This is the basis of sustainable human and rural development.
The Visionary Approach is the senior force in the ARU methodology. It has 3 elements. i) Vision; ii) Current Reality; iii) Structural Tension. A vision is defined as a compelling mental picture of what one truly wants (desired future) formulated in the present as if it was already achieved. Current Reality (CR) is a clear and true description of the existing situation in relation to the vision.
ARU ‘s educational model recognizes and aims at awakening the intrinsic value of women as teachers, organizers, producers (reproductive and productive), negotiators, peace makers, assertive managers, visionaries, political leaders and above all humanists. When equipped with knowledge and skills in modern science and technology, women are well placed to offer the needed visionary leadership for community transformation.
ARU does not bring in students with particular categories of their A-level passes, we admit students with minimum requirement in both sciences and arts and we offer transformative education, which combines both sciences and humanities. It’s an integrated curriculum which is holistic.
ARU Curriculum is 40% practical and 60% theoretical. In order to implement the practical component of the curriculum, students’ are subjected to project work, one month Village practicum and a one year internship. Implementation of the 40% practical involves the use of participatory action research and community action planning.
Students together with the communities practice the principle of appreciative inquiry and the principles of community action planning by coming together to visualize the community they want using imageries. They then reflect on the community they live in, in respect to what they want, recognize the gaps and have collective appreciation of the current reality. The next step is to harmonize their perceptions, agree on the course of action and examine resources needed to identify human resources and assign responsibilities among other things. Work schedules are then set, commitment for action is generated and work begins and for a very result they create the members ask “What Next?”