SEARCA leads e-training on school and home gardens in Busuanga Island, Palawan

  • By Carmen Nyhria G. Rogel
  • 16 July 2020

SEARCA leads e-training on school and home gardens in Busuanga Island, Palawan

A training program titled E-training on School plus Home Gardens cum Biodiversity Enhancement (SHGBE) for Busuanga Island will be conducted via the meeting platform Zoom every Thursday from 16 July to 3 September 2020, 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Invited participants include officials, teachers, and parent representatives from the Coastal and Inland School Districts of the Department of Education (DepEd) Palawan, representatives of local government units of Coron and Busuanga, Palawan, and private organizations from these municipalities.

The online training, endorsed by DepEd, aims to share and discuss experiences, initiatives, and good practices for implementing SHGBE or similar activities; enable participants to explain key elements of food and nutrition, sustainable development goals, organic agriculture, biodiversity, and edible landscaping for integration in the SHGBE and their links to income and character development; allow them to describe the process and requirements of designing, establishing, and maintaining edible organic school gardens; biodiversity enhancing landscaping, and the involvement of students, teachers, parents and local institutions to support, scale up, and disseminate information about SHGBE; enhance knowledge on the steps in preparing sample learning lesson or teacher's logs; and equip teachers with materials that can be used for complementing SHGBE integration in the curriculum. Ultimately, the e-training aims to contribute to improving the nutritional status of school children and to the food security of Busuanga Island.

The event is an initial step towards scaling out and building on the gains of the project "Participatory Action Research on School and Community-Based Food and Nutrition Program for Literacy, Poverty Reduction and Sustainable Development," also known as the School-plus-Home Gardens Project (S+HGP). The project was implemented in six schools in Laguna, Philippines in 2016 to 2017 toward improved nutrition, education, and economic well-being of children and in support of the Gulayan sa Paaralan and the School-based Feeding Programs of DepEd. Through partnerships with one secondary and five elementary schools, the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB,) and DepEd Laguna Provincial Office, achieved the objectives of project. Over time, there has been increasing adoption both at school and homestead levels.

To jumpstart the S+HGP in the Busuanga Island, SEARCA has sent vegetable seeds via courier to the Local Government Units of Coron and Busuanga for distribution among the schools. More seeds will be made available as the training/project moves forward.

The e-training is a collaboration among SEARCA, UPLB, and Kansas State University.