Mainstreaming agriculture in school education; ICAR’s way

Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) organized a brainstorming session to mainstream the agriculture curriculum in school education. It was inaugurated by the Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar.

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.

Speaking on the occasion, Tomar said the objective of this event is to focus on designing agricultural education systems toward developing vocational curricula 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.

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.

Tomar said that if the interest in agriculture sustains in the children from the school level, then they will 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.

Dr. Trilochan Mohapatra, Secretary, DARE, and Director General of ICAR was present at a brainstorming session held on Monday. ICAR Deputy Director General (Agriculture Education) Dr. RC Agrawal gave a presentation on the current status of agricultural education in the country and the need to bring agricultural education to the school level.

The delegates discussed the necessary policy level interventions at the State-Center 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, panelists, 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. For our primarily agricultural economy, this is a necessary step towards building an AatmaNirbhar Bharat, a self-reliant India, felt the participants.

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