Background

Agriculture is one of the oldest forms of human culture. It provides the basis of all, if not, the most forms of human civilisation. It has evolved from the dawn of hunter gatherers to the marvels of latest farming technology.  Although it is perceived as the career of drudgery, it is an enterprising occupation which is certainly joyful, innovative, and creative.

Agriculture has been one of the main occupations of Bhutanese in the past, present, and likely to remain so in the foreseeable future. As an agrarian-based society, Bhutan has every reason to maintain the status of self-reliant food security index. In 9th five-year plan, the first idea of all kind was spawned to institute Agriculture for Food Security (AgFS) as one of the subjects of national school curriculum. In collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests (MoAF), the then Department of Curriculum Research and Development (DCRD) under Ministry of Education (MoE) completed the development of curriculum and implementation of AgFS curriculum began in the academic year 2013. It was regularised as an optional subject in classes IX and X and as an elective subject in classes XI and XII under Commercial and Vocational Studies.

Rationale

With the turn of 21st century, Bhutan is presented with plethora of real-world problems. The ballooning unemployment issue, rise of food and nutrition insecurity, raging rural urban migration, etc. entailed Bhutan to respond with diligent measures. The values of imbibing long term attitudes of sustainable agriculture echoed across many national agenda. As such, turning students’ mindset towards farming was seen as one of the viable options. Hence, AgFS was unfurled as one of the optional subjects in the educational milieu.

Goals (Curriculum intentions)

 At its heart, AgFS curriculum is inspired by the mission to imbibe and permeate the values of practicing sustainable agriculture to all walks of Bhutanese. Specifically, it is envisioned to cater in the following specific domains:

  • Mitigate societal issues such as unemployment of literate youth, rural urban migration, nutrition and food security issues, etc.
  • Provide basic concepts, skills, and values of farming.
  • Create self-employment and employment of others through entrepreneurship.
  • Make the learning of other content areas experiential and constructive.

AgFS Subject Committee Members