The Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) said on Tuesday, it has introduced School-to-farm programme at basic education level to inculcate practical agricultural skills among learners in primary and junior secondary schools.
The Executive Secretary of the commission, Dr Hamid Bobboyi made this known at the opening of a three-day workshop on the implementation framework of the programme in Kaduna.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the participants include UBEC officials, directors and desk officers at State Universal Basic Education Boards in charge of schools agriculture programme.
Bobboyi, who was represented by UBEC Director, Administration and Supplies, Rev. Edwin Jarumai, added that the programme would prepare the learners for a life-long learning in line with the commission’s mandate.
He noted that over the years, the teaching of agriculture as a subject was mainly theoretical and less practical, which left most learners ignorant of proper agricultural practices.
“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.”
The executive secretary said that the learners 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 added that the programme would equally 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.
“It is also designed to develop instruments for monitoring, 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.
Earlier, the Director Academic Services, UBEC, Malam Wadata Madawaki, said that the programme, if successfully implemented, would boost agricultural production in the country.
Madawaki called on all stakeholders to support the commission in ensuring the success of the programme.
Also, the commission’s Director, Social Mobilisation, Malam Bello Kagara, said that the programme would enable UBEC deliver equitable access to quality and functional education at basic education level.
According to him, the acquisition of practical agricultural skills will add value to the lives of learners and make them self-reliant.
Prof. Sadiq Abubakar of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, commended UBEC for the initiative, which he believed would be “a useful legacy for the coming generation”.