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Agriculture Becomes Mandatory Subject for Classes 6 to 8

Urban environment poses teaching challenges for practical aspects of farming, say school teachers.

Shivangi Rai
MSBSHSE has announced the integration of agriculture into the curriculum. (Image Courtesy- Unsplash)
MSBSHSE has announced the integration of agriculture into the curriculum. (Image Courtesy- Unsplash)

The Maharashtra school education department has decided to introduce an agriculture curriculum as a compulsory subject for students in Classes 6 to 8 across the state starting from the upcoming academic year. The agriculture department of the state has developed a curriculum that includes practical knowledge of farming.

However, teachers from city schools are raising concerns about how to teach practical aspects of the subject in an urban environment. They believe it will be challenging to provide hands-on agricultural experiences to students in cities like Mumbai. Some teachers argue that agriculture is already included in the present curriculum and there is no need for a separate curriculum.

In line with the National Education Policy (NEP) of 2020, the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) has announced the integration of agriculture into the curriculum. The NEP emphasizes the inclusion of vocational subjects and local expertise in the curriculum, such as crafts, entrepreneurial skills, traditional and local arts, and agriculture.

During a recent meeting in Pune, the school education minister instructed the director of the State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) to develop a proposal for implementing the agriculture curriculum. The director of Maharashtra Prathamik Shikshan Parishad (MPSP) has also been directed to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOUs) with the agriculture department to facilitate the integration of the curriculum.

A committee comprising officials from the state's agriculture and education departments, along with agriculture university teachers, has developed a plan to teach agriculture in all classes. The syllabus will be introduced in three phases, covering topics related to agriculture, its significance, job opportunities, and farming information.

Based on a previous report on agricultural education, an officer from the SCERT mentioned that the state government has approved agriculture as a part of the work experience subject for Classes 6 to 8. Further guidelines will be issued soon.

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