ILOILO CITY - The introduction of a farm school in this city is expected to boost food sufficiency given the proper education and love for agriculture that will be instilled in the minds of learners.
Dr. Ma. Luz De los Reyes, schools division superintendent of the Department of Education (DepEd) here, said on Friday there are city residents who are into planting ornamental plants but it would be better if they also delve into "edible farming".
"Our curriculum will be relevant to children because while at home they can also create their agriculture farm. Our farm school has chosen organic farming because this is the most possible and feasible kind of farming in the urban area," she said in an interview.
The farm school will be introduced to initially 39 learners who chose to enroll in the curriculum, which is available at the Tiu Cho Teg-Ana Ros Foundation Integrated Farm School in Barangay Lanit in this city's Jaro district.
The school has met the standards of the DepEd to offer the curriculum. It has a space that can be utilized for small organic farming or gardening.
It also has two agriculture teachers who can best teach the subject, she said.
They will be using offline-online blended learning modality as face-to-face classes are still not allowed. Even their practical activities will be done online.
Learners will be provided with computer tablets containing organic farming and agriculture curriculum along with their other subjects.
"They are regular students of high school - Grade 7. They only have an additional curriculum for agriculture and their lessons in other subjects have integrated lessons for agriculture," De los Reyes said.
The school official said that they are optimistic about the result of the innovation as they saw that even without the formal school, the interest in gardening and farming can already be seen in the community.
It would be more interesting, she said, since the approach is scientific and they will be learning theories.
DepEd will be partnering with the City Agriculturist Office and the Department of Agriculture (DA) to utilize the Uswag Plant Nursery in Barangay Tacas, Jaro as their laboratory although they have yet to sign a memorandum of agreement (MOA).
"Even without the MOA I don't think the city will not support DepEd because the city is always there for the community. We are 100 percent that the city government will support the Department of Education as partner in farm school," she said. (PNA)