Department of Education Region 6 director Ramir Uytico recently launched the Sum–ag National High School and Alangilan National High School as farm schools during his first official visit to the schools divisions of Negros Occidental, a press release from DepEd said.
These schools have existing programs on rice and crop production, respectively, and Uytico stressed that the project was a call of the times, citing the regional mantra that “every child is a champion”. There is also a need to provide food for both teachers and students to reach their full potential, the press release said.
“With our response to a sustainable development goal, which is the eradication of poverty, we need to provide opportunities to our men and women so that all of them would be active partakers,” Uytico added.
The establishment of the farm schools in the SDO Bacolod City, headed by schools division superintendent Gladys Amylaine Sales, aims to equip learners with agricultural skills and develop sustainable farming, research, and innovations among students.
It is aligned with the provisions of Republic Act 10618, or the Rural Farm Schools Act, which mandates the DepEd to encourage the establishment of at least one public rural farm school in every province, as reiterated in DO 36, series of 2015.
The farm school curriculum will provide for a facilitative and experiential learning in secondary education on agri–fisheries, designed to address the needs of the learners. Its long term goal is community development where the learners and their families are formed in the values of cooperation and hard work and the judicious use of natural resources. It is geared towards socio–economic development, evidenced by the improvement of family income and the strengthening of social consciousness among community members, the press release said.
“The establishment of farm schools in SDO Bacolod City will enable our learners to put food on their table and help their families improve their living conditions. We have experienced this during the pandemic where we need to provide our least privilege learners with their most basic needs,” Sales said during the launching ceremony.
“This is the embodiment of our division mantra, Una sa Tanan, BATA: Buligan, Amligan, Tudluan, Alalayan. We will truly take care of our learners by providing them with real life skills to become productive, living meaningful life for themselves, their family, community, and country,” she added.
Learners in the SDOs farm schools will be required to submit a family enterprise project, a culminating study/research of the learners at the end of their formation. This is a family project with the objective of improving the family enterprise and income. This will be presented before a panel of experts to improve the project that will be implemented by the family.
The establishment of farm schools will provide contextualized career agricultural options to learners from the secondary level through the alternative delivery mode, compliant with the K to 12 basic education curriculum, the press release added.
Meanwhile, Uytico also lauded the SDO Bacolod City during the “Division Capability Building on Championing Bata: Bridging Advocates on Technical Assistance” limited face-to-face interaction at the Rizal Elementary School Heritage Building recently.
The activity gathered education leaders to share their programs and projects, best practices, initiatives, and innovations to empower and capacitate learners to achieve their full potential and personify the core values of DepEd.*