Published by the Visayan Daily Star
Editor-in-Chief & President
Bureau Chief, Dumaguete
MAJA P. DELY
|CARLOS ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA
A highly successful school garden program piloted in Laguna is set to be expanded to cover other schools in Southeast Asia after ranking officials of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization have approved for endorsement to the SEAMEO Council the “School and Home Gardens Program.”
SEAMEO is an inter-government treaty body founded in 1965 to promote cooperation in education, science and culture among Southeast Asian nations. It is now composed of 11 Southeast Asian countries. The SEAMEO High Officials Meeting SEAMEO-HOM) concurred the upscaling of the school gardens program during its 40 th meeting in Bangkok held on November 28-30.
The school gardens program's significant accomplishments during its first preliminary phase of 18 months led it to being upscaled to cover 15 more elementary schools and three high schools. Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) Director Gil Saguiguit Jr. was commended during the SEAMEO-HOM meeting for the center's efforts “to develop and demonstrate in pilot schools in Laguna how school gardens can address the health status of school children as well as its potential for experiential and even economic well-being of their families and communities.”
Saguitguit noted that school gardens introduce children to an early appreciation of agriculture which is key to food security and poverty alleviation.
Why is a successful school garden program piloted in Laguna set to for expansion in Southeast Asia but not yet expanded to the rest of the Philippines? Do SEAMEO officials see more value in the program than our own education officials? Our national and local school officials might want to take a look at the program.*