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General News of Monday, 24 August 2020


NPP 2020 manifesto criticised for silence on agric education

IFEST says the promises made to improve the agric sector does not align with agric education IFEST says the promises made to improve the agric sector does not align with agric education

Accra-based education policy and research institute has criticised the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) for failing to make policy provisions for improvements in agriculture education in its 2020 manifesto.

The Institute for Education Studies (IFEST) told GhanaWeb on Monday, August 24, 2020, that there is a visible disconnect between the promises for agriculture sector improvement in the manifesto and agric education at both the secondary and tertiary level.

Executive Director of IFEST, Peter Anti, said the government’s promise to mechanism and modernise the agriculture sector does not align with agriculture education in the country.

“We have schools of agriculture on our campuses but if you go to the Senior High Schools, the number of students taking [agriculture programme] keep decreasing.

“So if you are talking about modernising or mechanising agriculture and you don’t invest into agriculture education in the country or encourage people to pursue agriculture or have agriculture extension officers who know their stuff and tell the farmers to what they have to do, then what you are doing is just paying lip-service to mechanise agriculture?” Mr Anti said.

He said IFEST is convinced that the lack of proper alignment between agriculture education and government’s promise for the agriculture improvement points to a classic case of policymakers identifying a problem but proffering poor solutions.

“If you are not resourcing them, how do you train more of these people to help with the modernisation and mechanisation of the agric sector that you always want to champion or talk about?” Mr Anit quizzed the government.

IFEST was launched as a policy and research institute with the principal aim of informing public debate on contemporary education issues to promote the development of effective research, policy and practices.