SEARCA levels up school gardens

  • 18 May 2018

Source: The Manila Times
18 May 2018

Los Baños, Laguna: The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) through its School and Home Gardens Project (SHGP) has successfully changed the perception that school gardens could do little to help secure the food needs of a locality.

Having observed the success of its SHGP in the Philippines and the School-plus-home Garden Projects (S+HGP) in parts of Southeast Asia, SEARCA is intensifying the implementation of the project by training more trainers from April 18 to 21 at its headquarters at the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) in Laguna.

In his welcome remarks, SEARCA Director Gil Saguiguit, Jr. underscored the importance of spreading the idea of school gardens in addressing the nutrition, education, and economic well-being needs of school-age children, their families, and communities.

Under the "Training of Trainers on Scaling Up the School-plus-home Gardens Model in Southeast Asia," SEARCA partnered with UPLB, International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR), Department of Education-Laguna province, and three of its sister regional centers under the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) to gather 26 school heads, principals, and teachers; representatives from provincial or district education ministries; participants from IIRR; and SEAMEO center representatives who also served as resource persons.

The training also served as a platform for exchanging knowledge, experiences, and success stories to strengthen the implementation of the S+HGP in SEAMEO member-states.

"As a scaling-up strategy to ensure that lessons learned from the pilot stage of the project are picked up, implemented, and sustained in other schools in Southeast Asia, the training was designed to walk the participants through the basics of the SEARCA school-plus-home garden model, with focus on the step-by-step process of establishing locally-appropriate models in consideration of the unique context of the schools and communities where the project is to be implemented," SEARCA said in a statement.