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“Teach Agriculture In Secondary Schools” -Liberian Educator Proposes

A Liberian educator is requesting the Ministry of Education to introduce agriculture as a practical subject in high schools across the country.
Mr. Zayzay F. Sillah, a lecturer at the University of Liberia said he has observed that agricultural science is not taught in Liberia as a separate subject but rather embedded into economics; while Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone and The Gambia teach agricultural science as a core subject for WASSCE.
“So, my recommendation is that the government through the Ministry of Education introduces agriculture science as an essential subject from 10-12 grades just as it is with Math, Chemistry and Physics and to also be introduced in WASSCE,” he said.
“If we are saying we want to increase food production or improve food security in Liberia to be self-sufficient, we must start from the rudimentary aspects of it and that is from high schools, by inculcating in our students the passion for agriculture before going to the various universities,” Sillah added.
The old-timer high school teacher who had taught at several high schools including the Wein Town Public School, the St. Matthew Lutheran High School and the Adventist High School, stressed that because the love and passion for agriculture has not been indoctrinated into the citizens, the country is doing very, very poorly in food production.
“For instance, Liberia is importing peanuts, pepper, bitter ball, eggplant and other important food products from Guinea, while rice, the nation most essential food product is imported from India or others Asian and European countries,” he pointed out.
The UL lecturer added that the lack of productivity is putting enormous and indescribable pressure on the economy by intensifying the desire for United States dollars for importation which in turn weakens or devalues the Liberian Dollars and creates unnecessary dependency on other countries for things we are capable of producing and exporting.
Sillah believes that the most important initiative or tool to improve the economy is encouraging, inspiring or building in people the desire and importance of agriculture, which should start by introducing the subject at high schools level.
According him, if this is achieved and each high school has its own farm then, an inter-high school agricultural fair can also be established to allow students showcase their produce that can be bought by the government and other Liberians to provide funding and encouragement for more productions.
The veteran teacher who is willing to give out one and a half acres of land as a start-off for this initiative also said inter-high school agricultural fair, when introduced should be climaxed by the awarding of the best producing schools and even be provided scholarships as a means of developing appetite for agriculture.
He then called on the Ministry of Agriculture to promote this idea by encouraging the Ministry of Education to introduce same by providing the expertise, tools and materials to undertake such important and resourceful ideology.

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