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Axing courses a snub to agriculture

Axing courses a snub to agriculture

National's Agriculture spokesman David Carter says the decision to axe agriculture and horticulture courses for top final-year secondary students is a deliberate snub to agriculture.

"The Education Minister's reported comments that agriculture is not academically challenging enough is outrageous and shows, once again, how out of touch Labour is with heartland New Zealand." says Mr Carter.

NZQA has decided to offer agriculture and horticulture at bursary level only for final-year NCEA students, dropping the equivalent subjects from the scholarship list.

"The study of agriculture and horticulture is not only challenging and scientific. It can also provide young people with a profitable future in this country's leading industry," says David Carter.

"Labour seems to forget that these students can become the agricultural business leaders of tomorrow.

"Primary production is the backbone of our economy and any move to downgrade its academic recognition will be a major blow to an industry already suffering skill shortages.

"This Government has cruised on the back of agriculture's strong performance for the past four years.

"It beggars belief that it repays farmers by heaping costly legislation and crippling taxes on them - and now wants to undermine their knowledge base by axing these important agricultural qualifications," says Mr Carter.

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