Are schools working to achieve sustainable development?

Students during their holiday help weed the farm of a vulnerable person in Gatsibo File.
My first day at school remains a mystery in the journey of my education. Growing up in the village meant two things had to be done every day before setting out for school; helping out the herdsmen and digging around the kraal. Obviously my worst was digging; little did I know that on starting school, agriculture would be the primary subject taught.

Agriculture in schools today took a hit, with many opting to teach the subject only in theory, and focusing on the subjects that meet the 21st century standards.

This has produced many academically endowed students who are, however, inadequate when it comes to practical skills.

I am not against private institutions, but regardless of their success in nurturing critical thinkers, many times, their mode of teaching ignores certain aspects in learning yet they are significant when it comes to grooming responsible citizens.

Schools used to have farms but today, they have been replaced by basketball courts and other ‘hip’ activities. Of course I am not against this, but a re-examination of agriculture and the environment is very important.

It is vital for students to understand that the backbone of our economy is agriculture, but sadly, their knowledge about it is only in theory. 

It is also absurd for students to gather facts from other fields when they cannot do the same for their environment. This should be the focal point in education if we want sustainable development.

Education policymakers seem to have ignored the link between education and the environment, yet we speak about sustainable development.

I happen to be studying with a PhD candidate in agricultural engineering, and the struggles are endless when it comes to practicals, especially when interacting with local farmers. This could be the case with those taking courses in environmental science.  

Once we envision these factors and have them integrated in the education system, and get them fully practiced by tutors and learners, sustainable development will be achieved.

As we struggle to meet 21st century goals, let’s understand that the environment is as vital as any other aspect when planning for sustainable development.


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