Climate-responsive agriculture must be compulsory in new SHS curriculum – Eduwatch


By Ernest Bako WUBONTO

Africa Education Watch (Eduwatch) has underscored the need to mainstream agriculture into the new bi-focal second-cycle education curriculum to address food insecurity.

According to the policy think-tank, the major challenge to food security in Africa is an underdeveloped agricultural sector due to low technology, low investment and low youth interest and participation.

This is worsened by the devastating effects of climate change on crop yields. As a result, Africa – including Ghana – has become food insecure; hence, inculcating the skills and spirit of agriculture into youths from an early stage will develop their interest and well-equip them for the industry.

“We recognise that agriculture and food security are critical for Africa’s survival, just as much as fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) skills. The new curriculum, which seeks to prepare the youth with relevant contemporary proficiencies and competencies for both tertiary education and the world of work, must mainstream agriculture,” said Kofi Asare, Executive Director.

Eduwatch in a petition to the Ag. Director-General,  National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NaCCA) and Minister of Education emphasised that to address food security in Ghana sustainably, it is imperative that ‘Basic Practical Agriculture’ is mainstreamed into the secondary education curriculum to ensure all students acquire some basic knowledge of agriculture and farming.

Having participated in a stakeholder engagement session organised by NaCCA on the new draft secondary education curriculum scheduled for introduction in the next academic year, the education sector civil society organisation (CSO) is aware of two agricultural subjects’ creation: Agriculture as (an Arts subject) and Agricultural Science as (a Science subject).

However, these two provide flexibility of subscription for students across disciplines. Thus, both subjects are optional – limiting their potential impact on all second-cycle students.

Eduwatch recommends that Basic Practical Agriculture, including farming, be introduced as a compulsory foundation course in the new secondary education curriculum – in addition to Physical Education & Health, which is currently the only foundation course in the new curriculum’s current draft.

“This, we believe, will help to shape students’ perspectives on agricultural career choices, provide basic practical knowledge and skills in agriculture and climate change, and build the necessary culture in support of enhancing Ghana’s food security,” stated Eduwatch.

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