The newly appointed Agricultural Science Education Officer, Mrs. Nicolette Francis hosted an Educators Empowerment Workshop for secondary and primary school Agricultural Science teachers, under the theme “Growing Greatness”.
This was held on Tuesday 29th August and Wednesday 30th August at the John E. St. Luce Finance and Conference Center.
Agricultural Science teachers participated in the two-day workshop where they were able to table their past challenges faced within their respective schools managing the school farms.
Teachers were given the opportunity to share ideas which could not only support the students but the overall development of the Agricultural Science Department.
Day 1 featured Mr. Neil Gomes proprietor of Anointed Farms who addressed the teachers on the characteristics of upcoming farmers and how as teachers they can help mold the perspective of farming through the implementation of more practical learning.
He also expressed that as teachers they should educate the students on all aspects of farming, outside of just production.
Farming can be a very lucrative business, and this was touched on by another farmer, Adolph Audain who explained to the teachers the economic viability of Agriculture and how to run a farm as a business as this will assist them in how the school farms are being operated despite limited resources.
Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) National Specialist, Craig Thomas spoke on the implementation of internships for students on agriculture focused businesses within the secondary schools to encourage the students.
He encouraged the teachers to utilize the expertise of local entrepreneurs and technicians within the agriculture sector who could encourage students to see agriculture as a viable area of interest.
He also highlighted the many training and external funding opportunities available to Antigua and Barbuda that can also be beneficial to the schools.
The Agricultural Science Department continues to motivate teachers to impart quality curriculum content to students by developing knowledge and understanding of the importance of agriculture in Antigua and Barbuda.
Mrs. Francis hopes to grow the program and the sector through collaboration with the agricultural science teachers as they are responsible for molding the next generation of farmers that will contribute to food security and food safety in Antigua and Barbuda.
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