MANILA – To equip learners with agricultural skills and develop sustainable farming, the Department of Education (DepEd) Region 6 (Western Visayas) has formally inaugurated 20 farm schools on March 17.
Farm schools were established in the region as part of the provisions of Republic Act 10618 or the Rural Farm Schools Act, which mandates the DepEd to encourage the establishment of at least one public rural farm school in every province of the country.
“I am very happy that we are establishing farm schools. I promise to support this proposal because through farm schools, we provide not only for our needs physically as people in terms of nutritious food, but also beauty,” DepEd Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones said in her virtual message.
Among the farm schools are Alangilan National High School, Fr. Gratian Murray Integrated School, Sumag National High School of Bacolod City; Mabini National High School of Cadiz City; Floro T. Bongco National High School of Escalante City; Sagay City Ecozone National High School, Bulanon National High School, and Sagay National High School of Sagay City.
Briones highlighted the importance of the relationship between agriculture and the education sector.
“The role of agriculture, the production of food, the provision of employment, and the sustenance of our people to agriculture, is really given so much more importance and attention. No country, no human being can survive without food and our food comes from the agricultural sector, and our food is grown by our farmers, our peasants, our workers who are also products of our own educational system,” she said.
The establishment of farm schools will provide contextualized career agricultural options to the learners from the secondary level through the Alternative Delivery Mode (ADM) compliant with the K to 12 Basic Education Curriculum.
Farm school curriculum shall follow the core subjects of DepEd with a focus on agri-fishery, forestry, farm entrepreneurship, community development, education for sustainable development, and other community-specific topics.
Factors in farm school establishment include wide land areas, livestock and poultry areas, proximity to sugarcane plantations, rice fields, fruits and vegetable farms, and rivers.
DepEd Regional Director Ramir Uytico emphasized that the project was a call of time, citing their regional mantra that “every child is a champion,” they also need to provide food for both teachers and students to reach their full potential.
“With response to a sustainable development goal, which is the eradication of poverty, we need to provide opportunities to our men and women so that all of them would be active partakers,” Uytico said. (PNA)