In the 1960s, agriculture was the mainstay of the Nigerian economy, providing the main source of income for the majority of Nigerians. Second, the agricultural sector employed about 70% of the entire country’s workforce. Not only did this sector provide employment to the country, but it also provided it with foreign exchange earnings. Unfortunately, this very important sector was overtaken by the oil boom that began in the 1970s, as reported by the National Bureau of Statistics (2012). However, the oil boom era, like all other seasons that are never permanent, is gradually fading, thus making official calls to boost employment prospects for the country’s abundant youth through economic diversification very persistent. lately.
Beyond the appeal, first and foremost, there is the need to sensitize a people who have long been bathed in the euphoria of white-collar work and this, no doubt, requires a sustained systematic approach, capable to redirect the mindset of people, especially the youth. Of course, this can best be achieved using the instrument of Western education. All over the world, educational institutions are mainly known as a platform used directly or indirectly to influence the general life of a person. The government, in most cases, through the school, plans and directs the study of experience, and also contributes to the continued growth of an individual by the systematic reconstruction of knowledge and experience. Considering knowledge as a dynamic and functional element, it needs to be constantly reconstructed, in particular according to changes in the weather.
That is why in various spheres of life, interested parties always prefer to use education to solve the problems that limit social orientation and thinking. Harry Smorenberg, the founder and chairman of the Global Anti-Corruption Summit, realized this for which he said; “Teaching financial literacy as a subject in schools has helped other countries increase access to financial products and services.” With the place of financial literacy in promoting financial participation, consumer protection and financial stability, Smorenberg advised Nigeria to teach financial literacy in schools. He believed that such an idea would give students a better understanding of financial planning, the importance of preparing the household budget, managing cash flow and distributing assets to achieve financial goals.
However, Smorenberg is not alone in his thinking. Tanner and Tanner, (1980) in their “Curriculum Development: Theory and Practice”, also recognized the role of the school in the systematic construction of knowledge and experience, in contrast to the role of other institutions. If the thought postulated by these educators and others like them is anything to say, then suffice it to say that education is very useful to society and therefore should be accepted and embraced by Nigerian leaders as a platform through which a faster awareness of the theory and practice of agriculture among Nigerian citizens could be achieved.
Therefore, if Nigeria is really interested in the development of agriculture as an alternative source of income, it follows that from junior secondary onwards, emphasis should be placed on conducting programs to promote the understanding and knowledge necessary for the synthesis, analysis and transmission of basic information on agriculture to students, producers, consumers and the general public. These programs are expected to aim to help teachers and other stakeholders to effectively integrate agricultural information into subjects taught or studied for public and private purposes in order to better understand the impact of agriculture on the society.
The author is therefore interested in that aspect of agricultural literacy which acquaints and acquaints students or individuals with knowledge and understanding not only of the concepts of health and environment, but also of their history, their current economic and social significance to the people of Nigeria. In this case, knowledge of food and fiber production, processing and domestication, as well as international marketing through school will ultimately lead to informed citizens of our great country who, in turn , will play an important role in the development and implementation of policies capable of maintaining competitive agro-industrial enterprises.
Thus, young people knowing and understanding nutrition system and fiber will be naturally able to synthesize, analyze and communicate basic information about agriculture, such as production of plant and animal products, processing, economic effect , its social significance, marketing and distribution, etc. Therefore, making agricultural literacy compulsory from the primary to secondary education level, regardless of the intended curriculum, will undoubtedly have a significant impact on the rehabilitation and development of the difficult economy. from Nigeria.
This is why Gbamanga (2000) advised students to plan the curriculum as needed, to examine and interpret the nature of society in relation to its stable core values and the areas in which it changes, when choosing content. As Nigeria currently talks, preaches and dreams of agriculture, individuals must be encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity presented by the prevailing economic crisis in the country to get involved in agriculture. It is desirable that every child be subjected to the compulsory agricultural knowledge at school.
Nigeria’s recovery from the impact of falling crude oil prices will certainly not be sudden. Indeed, there needs to be an orderly organization of a series of courses and support activities aimed at helping young Nigerians to rediscover themselves in the field of agriculture.
By: Sylvia ThankGod-Amadi