STUDENTS have been urged to take agriculture education seriously.
Speaking at the Crest Agriculture Show in Lautoka yesterday, Ministry of Education permanent secretary Dr Brij Lal said the agriculture syllabus in schools was designed to prepare skilled workers through practical training and knowledge to meet industry and market needs.
He said the ministry had mainstreamed the Basic Employment Skill Training Program into the secondary school curriculum to equip students with skills that would enable them to not only secure employment but to become employers as well.
"In the contemporary labour market, not only in Fiji but worldwide, job opportunities are found in areas where technical skills are required," said Dr Lal.
"In a recent conference, Education Minister Filipe Bole highlighted the traditional view that most students should be trained for white collar jobs was no longer realistic as well as the view that white collar careers were always better paid than careers in technical and vocational areas.
"Agriculture should be given a different perception to eliminate the old image and negative stereotyping and reflect more truly the purpose of preparing students for their careers."
Dr Lal said the curriculum had been designed to guide students to make realistic choices and choose careers that suited their aptitude, interests, abilities and aspirations.
"I applaud the Agriculture Ministry for making the show possible — it is a one-stop shop show for students where they will have first-hand experience of what they learnt in the classroom."
"It is an experience where students will discover for themselves the latest technologies either locally or adopted from overseas that have helped shape the primary industries in Fiji."