Teagasc plans overhaul of agri-education sector
Published 21/06/2016 | 02:30
Teagasc's education system is set for a 30-year overhaul as a special advisory group assesses the state of the country's agricultural academic sector.
"We need to question whether our programmes are fit for purpose for the next 30 years," said Teagasc's director Gerry Boyle at the student of the year awards in Dublin last week.
"The farms of the future are going to be very different, and that's why we've a steering group engaged in forming a strategic vision."
However, the Teagasc boss and former college professor believes that not just the content of courses, but the way that they are delivered should change.
"We can teach a student to dehorn a calf, but maybe we should be training them in entrepreneurship - almost like training them to develop their level of ambition," he said.
He pointed to Finland's switch from subject-based to phenomenon-based learning.
"I'm very taken with the idea of the farmer as an entrepreneur, who faces the challenge of developing a farm. It really struck me when I was in New Zealand that farmers out there see themselves as resource managers," he said.
However, Mr Boyle acknowledged that the courses could not lose sight of their target audience.