Push for rural study in schools

THE controversial NAPLAN tests may have finally gone ahead in local schools but not without further criticism.

The NSW Farmers Association is now claiming an article in the tests for Years 7 and 9 students undermines the importance and value of agriculture and discourages people from eating red meat.

NSW Farmers’ rural affairs committee chair Sarah Thompson said the article was biased and misrepresentative and should not be used in testing students.

“This misrepresentation of the industry is a clear example of why we need a sustainable food and fibre policy incorporated into the nation’s curriculum so students develop an accurate understanding of agriculture and build an interest in a vital national industry,” Mrs Thompson said.

The association is now pushing for the integration of ‘A Sustainable Food and Fibre Policy for NSW Schools’, which will enable study to be placed within the curriculum to highlight the connection between food and fibre production, rural communities, the natural environment, cities and the country.

“It would also facilitate the innovative delivery of practical, hands-on activities for students from Kindergarten to Year 12 within the context of their existing school subjects,” Mrs Thompson said.

“This is particularly important for a future where there is increased competition for our scarce natural resources. Future policy makers and voters need to have a solid understanding of the resources required to sustain food and fibre production for this country.”

The association is working with the NSW Department of Education and Training and will be providing a submission into the national curriculum review.

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