ILOILO CITY – Some 26 farm schools from the divisions of the Department of Education (DepEd) in Western Visayas are ready to accommodate an initial 1,861 Grade 7 enrollees as classes in public schools start on Sept. 13.
“This is a pioneering Philippine farm school in compliance with Republic Act 10618 that mandates DepEd to organize a farm school. These 26 farm schools were given their respective permits because the law expressly mandates DepEd that the approval of the permit is lodged at the regional office,” Dr. Jude Thaddeus I. Iledan, chief of the DepEd field technical assistance division and program regional focal person, said in an interview on Friday.
Republic Act 10618 or the Rural Farm Schools Act mandates for the “facilitative and experiential learning on the core subjects of the secondary curriculum focused on agri-fisheries”.
DepEd Western Visayas regional director Ramir B. Uytico, the man behind the initiative, said they wanted to instill in the minds of people in the region that “there is always life in agricultural productivity”.
He added that they will be giving computer tablets to enrollees as they wanted to encourage more students in the farm school.
“There is a private farm school but there is no established farm school that’s DepEd-managed. That is why we in DepEd Region 6 claimed that this is the first in the country that is public,” he said during the virtual press conference.
He added that the program will have limited immersion because it is only implemented in Grade 7.
However, it needs the active participation of parents to ensure that whatever learning in the program will be applied at home.
Uytico said to support the farm school, all employees of DepEd from the region down to the school level are invited to implement home gardening.
Dr. Elena Gonzaga, chief of the DepEd curriculum and learning management division, said the schools are oriented on the learning resources that they will use.
The DepEd expects the number of enrollees to increase as the registration of learners continues. (PNA)