Education is a prerequisite to building a food-secure world, reducing poverty and conserving and enhancing natural resources. While FAO's Natural Resources Management and Environment Department (NR) addresses all levels of education systems with a holistic approach, priority is given to basic education. The focus of its work is on:
Expanding access to education and improving school attendance in rural areas, by promoting or supporting initiatives aimed at improving children's health and capacity to learn, using information and communication technology and distance education, educating rural girls and women and promoting life-long education and skills for life in a rural environment.
Improving the quality of education, by supporting participatory curriculum development and teacher training to respond to rural development needs and farmers' demands, assisting agriculture universities to improve their role of service to farmers and their interaction with basic and intermediate education, and encouraging development education initiatives aimed at fostering social awareness on issues and topics related to FAO's mandate.
Strengthening institutional capacity in planning and managing education for rural development, by adopting a systemic approach to education for rural development that addresses all levels of education; encouraging debate on future trends in education and training of children, youth and adults for agriculture, rural development and food security; researching and disseminating best practices and case studies that illustrate the contribution of education to sustainable agriculture and rural development; supporting new partnerships for education for rural development at national, regional and global levels; and providing technical assistance for training of policy-makers and managers of education for rural development.