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Saturday, July 26th, 2014 - 1:46 AM
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Agriculture gains academic status

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thinjeA copy of the new Agriculture text book that students will be learning from

Council of Renewal Natural Resources Research of Bhutan Agriculture will be introduced as an optional subject for Class IX this academic session in 20 selected middle and higher secondary schools.

Education ministry identified a middle or higher secondary school in each dzongkhag, as a pilot school to introduce the subject.

The 248-page agriculture textbook for Class IX-X, published by the council of renewal natural resources research of Bhutan (CoRRB) contains chapters like raising a nursery, poultry, piggery, and small scale entrepreneurship, among others.

The purpose of the subject, education and agriculture ministry officials said, is to inculcate values in students, build farming as well as entrepreneurial skills, and help schools become self sufficient, in terms of farm produce for their mess.

“What students learnt in their science and geography lessons from class IV to VIII will be put into practice in agriculture,” Wangchuk Rabten, curriculum specialist with department of curriculum research and development (DCRD), said. “The subject would give value education, in terms of understanding agriculture, and food security as a fundamental basis for a GNH society.”

The subject is also expected to provide relevance of education to students.

“Agriculture students would have to work in the fields, as well as learn the theory in the classes,” Wangchuk Rabten said.

The produce will be bought by the school mess in boarding schools.

“To teach agriculture, teachers from identified school have been trained, while some are undergoing training at Samtse college of education,” CoRRB director, Tashi Samdrup, said.

Pilot schools will receive technical assistance from local renewable natural resources centres.

A four-year memorandum of understanding, which launched the new subject yesterday in Thimphu, was signed between the education and agriculture and forest services secretaries.

The school agriculture program (SAP), which began in 1999 in five schools, will continue.  These schools will also study agriculture.

Agriculture and forest services secretary, Sherub Gyaltshen, said the farming population was aging rapidly.

“World Food Program will be phasing out in 2018, and we have to work towards producing enough for ourselves,” he said. “The subject should also help in reversing rural-urban migration, ease employment and promote agriculture.”

Education secretary, Sangay Zam said, if food security was to happen, it would have to happen through the education system.

An outline for agricultural studies for Class XI and XII has been developed.

A four-year memorandum of understanding, which launched the new subject on January 30 in Thimphu, was signed between the education and agriculture and forest services secretaries.

The school agriculture program (SAP), which began in 1999 in five schools, will continue.

Agriculture and forest services secretary, Sherub Gyaltshen, said the farming population was aging rapidly.

“World Food Program will be phasing out in 2018, and we have to work towards producing enough for ourselves,” he said. “The subject should also help in reversing rural-urban migration, ease employment and promote agriculture.”

Education secretary, Sangay Zam said, if food security was to happen, it would have to happen through the education system.

An outline for agricultural studies for Class XI and XII has been developed.

By Tshering Palden


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