Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Php20 million allotted by DA for School Gardening Program

During the 1970s as an offshoot of the Green Revolution Program, the Youth Civic Action for Progress (YCAP) was established. Part of this program would be cultivating plots of land inside the premises of all schools. These included planting crops such as tomatoes and corn. This became part of the curriculum and also taught even urban based students the rudiments of farming. It was incorporated also in science subjects and scouting.

Taking a page from history, the Department of Agriculture (DA) is allotting P20 million to create a national school gardening program in partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd).

During one of the Cabinet meetings, Agriculture chief Emmanuel Piñol presented to Education Secretary Leonor Briones the idea of bringing back basic gardening as a special activity for elementary school children in both public and private schools nationwide. “She liked the idea and so we agreed that DA and DepEd would work together to implement a national school gardening program,” the DA said.

This program will make basic gardening a special school activity which is unlike the 70s program that included it in the cuirriculum. But the intention is also beneficial to all students who will participate since farming is a life skill that will be carried over the entire life of the student participant. The DA will provide the technicians, gardening tools, seeds, organic fertilizers and even irrigation equipment. 

“Most Filipino children do not even know how to plant vegetables or even just basic gardening. For many, the closest they get to farming is by playing Farmville in the computer,” Piñol said.

Funding for the program will be included in the proposed 2017 budget of the department.

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