By Kellen Owente
Agricultural expert Dr Emma Naluyima has advised parents to take their children to farms so they can be able to touch, feel and experience everything from the plants, to animals and fully understand their way of living.
Dr Naluyima was one of the trainers at the Harvest Money Expo held at Kololo last month.
“At such an expo, you find that many parents have come without their children, and you wonder whether these young people shall ever appreciate agriculture and make a living out of it because sadly, many think it is dirty work,” she said.
Calvin Ainemani, one of the expo goers, said he had never touched maggots, which he said were ‘disgusting’ and always induced him to vomit.
To his surprise, the children at the training were fearlessly touching and explaining how maggots are made and their relevance to the livestock sector.
“I was impressed by how these children challenged an entire room of farmers. They told us the reason our animals die is because of the foods we feed on them including foreign material like stones, dust and leftovers which eventually mess with their digestive system,” Mary Opolot from Gulu district said.
Opolot vowed to bring her two daughters to the 8th edition of Harvest Money, noting that she has been extremely inspired by the little ones and believes they could make a huge impact on her children too.
Dr Naluyima, despite her concerns, hailed the government for introducing the competence –based curriculum for the lower secondary school, which equips learners with practical skills on agriculture, and ICT.
The government introduced the new curriculum in 2020, but its implementation began in 2022 owing to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The subjects were reduced from 42 to 20 and the number of hours’ students spend in a classroom was reduced to six from nine. The students are encouraged to use the remaining time to develop their own projects, research, or develop talents.