In the formulation of this syllabus CXC has addressed itself to a socio-economic issue of undoubted importance to the Caribbean Region – the very direct relationship of agricultural education to the development of Caribbean economies most of which are heavily dependent on agriculture, or at least where agriculture contributes significantly to their Gross National Product.
Countries in the region are all faced with similar problems – namely eradicating poverty, attaining agricultural sustainability, ensuring food security, while at the same time trying to cope with serious environmental issues.
The science of agriculture is vast and encompasses many other subject areas. For this reason a ‘double award’ syllabus is required – one that aims at serious vocational training for students in the final two years of secondary school. The ‘double award’ weighting over the other subjects becomes very obvious in the light of the enormity of the content involved.
The major concern, then, has been to make certain that the approach to scientific agriculture loses none of the discipline needed in the study of science while ensuring that it is truly grounded in practical activities of direct relevance to the Caribbean situation.
There is a basic similarity in the agriculture of the several territories represented by the Council. However, there are important differences and these must be recognised in the coverage of material in individual countries. Therefore, the syllabus offers the opportunity for special features and problems of a country to be closely studied by the students in that country. Nevertheless, the syllabus remains a genuinely Caribbean syllabus.