By John Shiklam in Kaduna
The Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) has introduced School-to-Farm Programme in basic education to inculcate practical agricultural skills among learners in primary and junior secondary schools.
Executive Secretary of UBEC, Dr Hamid Bobboyi disclosed this on Tuesday at the opening of a three-day workshop on the implementation framework of the programme in Kaduna.
Bobboyi, who was represented by the Director, Administration and Supplies, Rev. Edwin Jarumai, said the programme would prepare pupils for a life-long learning in line with UBEC mandate.
He stressed that over the years, the teaching of agriculture as a subject had been mainly theoretical and less practical. He noted that theoretical-based teaching of agriculture leaves most learners ignorant of what some of the agro-products look like, with no idea of how they are planted, harvested, processed or stored.
“In view of this, UBEC has approved 2.0 per cent of the Universal Basic Education Grant for the school-to-farm programme to make agricultural science more practical and hands-on at basic education level.
“The objective is to provide learners with requisite skills to stimulate self-employment, equip them with functional entrepreneurship and life skills, promote dignity of labour and self-esteem and expose them to biological process of agriculture” he said.
The UBEC boss said further that the pupils would be exposed to cultivation of farm produce like maize, cassava, yam, guinea corn, and vegetables, as well as livestock like poultry, rabbit, snail and fisheries.
He said the programme would also build the capacity of teachers and community members who would be part of the implementation of the programme.
Bobboyi explained that the objective of the workshop was to familiarise the participants with the approved guidelines and build their capacity on the implementation of the programme as well as share experience and adopt best practices.
“It is expected that at the end of the workshop, participants will come up with mechanism that will ensure sustainability of the programme in different geographical zones of the country,” he said.
Participants at the workshop include UBEC management and directors as well as desk officers in State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) in-charge of agriculture in basic education schools.