In order to create agriculture as a career option for the students, the Government of India will include an agriculture curriculum in the school education. Towards this, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) organised a session today to brainstorm the policy framework for school education.
Inaugurating the session, Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar said, the agriculture sector occupies a very important place in the country and the livelihood of a large population is dependent on it. Agriculture is India’s strength and its predominance would not only remain in the future but it would also expand. In view of this, ICAR has made an effort to integrate the agriculture world with the new education policy.
The objective of this event was to focus on designing agricultural education system for developing vocational curriculum including agricultural science to provide better education under the National Education Policy (NEP), 2020. Therefore, a new paradigm will be introduced at the primary, middle and secondary school levels, with vocational courses at the higher level for the development of students and youth in agriculture and allied sciences. As a result, this brainstorming session will help develop and evolve a policy to include agriculture as a subject in the curriculum and provide students with an option to pursue a career in various fields of agriculture.
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Tomar said, there are many dimensions in agriculture, on which it is necessary to work together, while the challenges have also been overcome at a fast pace. Towards this end, the agricultural curriculum should also find a place in school education and it is necessary that there should be continuity in agriculture and every Indian should be connected with it. Tomar said that if the interest in agriculture sustained in the children from the school level, then they would be able to move towards agriculture after college. Our farmers are naturally skilled workers. In the present circumstances, the agriculture sector is going to create a lot of employment opportunities in the times to come. In this regard, he mentioned about linking agriculture with technology and setting up the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund worth Rupees one lakh crore by the Central government.
Dr. RC Agrawal, Deputy Director General (Agriculture Education), Indian Council of Agricultural Research gave a presentation on the current status of agricultural education in the country and the need to bring agricultural education at the school level. Principals of schools, senior teachers and other experts including officials of ICAR, NCERT and CBSE participated in various sessions and deliberated upon the need and process to include agriculture as a subject in the school curriculum.
The delegates discussed the necessary policy level interventions at the State-Centre level, the constitution of a joint working group of teachers to review the existing curriculum and propose changes needed to enhance subject knowledge and teaching skills in agriculture at the school level. Based on the consultations of school education experts, panellists, professionals and experts from ICAR, it is expected that this unique initiative will create a sense of much-needed change in the school curriculum to prepare the students and youth for better agricultural development.