New Ag. Science Syllabus? Ah, no.
Has the NCCA published a new Agricultural Science syllabus? Well, no. But they have retyped the embarrassing old one and supplied us with a copy as Gaeilge. (Click here for the new one or here to have a laugh and see the old one) Is this in a vain effort to convince the public that they are making progress on replacing the ancient old syllabus, one which was written before Ireland joined the European Union? Probably. But according to the NCCA website "a review of the Leaving Certificate Agricultural Science syllabus has taken place and a revised syllabus has been completed. This revised syllabus, when approved by the NCCA, will be forwarded to the Department of Education and Science for implementation in schools in due course". I know from my sources that a new syllabus was completed over five years ago. So why is it taking so long to implement it?
On a positive note, however, the Second Level Support Service (SLSS), the Irish Agricultural Science Teachers Association (IASTA) and the National Centre for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching and Learning (NCE-MSTL) have recognised that Agricultural Science, one of the fastest growing subjects in Ireland, was ignored over the past decade in terms of support for teachers and the provision of in - service training and that the latter currently being planned in the area. Actually, I attended an excellent in-service on genetics and animal breeding in UCD last night. So, let's hope our esteemed Minister for Education & Science will take action and promptly roll out the new syllabus. After all, agriculture will prove even more important over the coming years and decades as food demand increases worldwide.