MANILA, Sept 6 (PNA) -- The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) and Department of Education (DepEd) Laguna have partnered to integrate “climate smart” agriculture in lesson plans of Grades 4 and 7 teachers.
”Basically, ‘climate smart’ agriculture is an approach for developing agricultural strategies to secure sustainable food security under climate change,” SEARCA program specialist Henry Custodio told the Philippines News Agency.
SEARCA said the revised lesson plans, where climate change, nutrition and agriculture concepts will be integrated came was DepEd Laguna’s idea.
SEARCA and University of the Philippines Los Banos (UPLB) came up with the concepts and facilitated technical workshops and writing workshops for the teachers.
Last June, ”climate smart” gardens were piloted in six schools in Laguna: Cabuyao Central School, Pedro Guevarra Memorial National High School, Labuin Elementary School, Crisanto Guysayko Memorial Elementary School, Mayjayjay Elementary School, and San Andres Elementary School.
According to SEARCA Director Gil Saguiguit, Jr., these school gardens will also serve as alternative source of food and income for rural families.
He added that these school gardens will serve as tools where the citizens will learn to protect the environment.
Since these are “climate smart” gardens, SEARCA noted that each of the gardens have its own greenhouse and rainwater collection system.
“The mini-greenhouses are sized five by four meters, serving as seeds nursery. Under greenhouses, seedlings are protected from excessive heat of the sun or from strong winds,” SEARCA said.
Water is conserved and supplies irrigation needs for growth of plants, it added.
SEARCA said it shouldered the expenses for the pilot sites, which is Php 45,000 each garden.
A teacher’s manual will be piloted under this project by December. SEARCA said they target the implementation of the revised lesson plans by third quarter this year. At present, the group said the materials are finished and they are now being reviewed.
Is this project applicable only to public schools? Custodio said this can also be implemented in private schools.
“However, since private schools are given more flexibility by DepEd, project implementation may be challenging. Public schools are more centralized, hence, easier to organize and use as parallel project sites,” he explained.
Meanwhile, Josilyn Solana, Laguna schools superintendent, remarked that this project is actually aligned with DepEd’s “Gulayan sa Paaralan” advocacy. (PNA)