This syllabus was developed in response to four (4) key objectives of the food and agriculture sector in the Caribbean; a region consisting mainly of Small Island Developing States. These objectives, which provide the framework for this syllabus, are to achieve the goal of food and nutrition security; adopt sustainable agricultural approaches that are responsive to an uncertain physical and economic environment; contribute to economic diversification through transformation of communities and improvement of livelihoods; and ensure that the human resource capacity available to the sector is adequate in quantity and quality.
Agriculture is viewed in its widest sense as all activities including production, processing and marketing of plant crops and animals for human well-being. Sustainability, that is, satisfying the current and future needs of a society for food and non-food products, in an environmentally friendly manner that also optimises profitability to the producers, will be achieved by using sound scientific approaches to build on relevant indigenous knowledge. These approaches reflect the multidisciplinary nature of agriculture by encompassing both the natural and social sciences, and its multifunctionality through its linkages with other sectors. Additionally, to meet the stated objectives and enhance the competitiveness of Caribbean agriculture in the twenty-first century, the application of best practices and appropriate modern technologies will be critical.
This Agricultural Science Syllabus has been developed to address these requirements and to lay the foundation for meeting the human resource needs of the food and agriculture sector. Therefore, it incorporates the features of the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) principles. It seeks to equip students for entry to the world of work as skilled workers and for post-secondary and tertiary level agriculture education. Students will be exposed to learning experiences to equip them with relevant scientific and technical competencies, transferable skills such as critical thinking, innovativeness, team work, problem solving, communication, and other life skills. Dispositions such as concern for others, ethical conduct, stewardship of resources, and a keen interest in participation in national, regional and international affairs will also be fostered. The learning environment is infused with ICTs and is particularly geared to engage youth by catering for different learning styles and needs, development of multiple intelligences, encouraging personal growth and development, and creating opportunity for entrepreneurship.
To ensure regional relevance, students where applicable will be recognised for the achievement of competence in the relevant units of the Caribbean Vocational Qualifications (CVQ*1 ) that is aligned to the content in the syllabus. This will further enhance the development of the Ideal Caribbean person as articulated by the CARICOM Heads of Government who is aware of the importance of living in harmony with the environment; demonstrates multiple literacy, independent and critical thinking, questions the beliefs and practices of the past and present, and brings this to bear on the innovative application of science and technology to problem-solving; and values and displays the creative imagination in its various manifestations and nurtures its development in the economic and entrepreneurial spheres in all other areas of life. The syllabus will also prepare students for lifelong learning based on the Pillars of Learning described by UNESCO as it will contribute to a person who will learn how to do, learn how to live together and learn to transform themselves and society.
The syllabus aims to: