APRIL 24, 2014

NR # 3446

Solon pushes for school gardens to address malnutrition problem among school kids
A lawmaker has filed a bill seeking to institutionalize a school gardens program within the Department of Education (DepEd) so that pupils will have easy access to “bahay kubo” vegetables !ep Eulogio “Amang” ! "agsaysay (#arty$list% A&E) said although a number of schools have come up with a school garden set up especially those situated in rural or sub$urban areas% a schools garden program has not been institutionalized in the country "agsaysay said there are efforts to have a school garden implemented in public elementary and high schools like the Gulayan sa Paaralan #ro'ect of the DepEd “(his vegetable garden pro'ect is aimed to address malnutrition which affects one in every three public school children and to promote self$help food production activities and values appreciation of agriculture%” he said )ne of the ob'ectives of the school gardens program as stated under *ouse +ill ,-., is to coordinate the efforts of public schools% the DepEd% the Department of Agriculture (DA) and other concerned government agencies and community organizations to establish gardens as integral components of public schools Another ob'ective is to establish and convene a /arden Advisory 0ommittee at the local levels% composed of community organizations and other interested persons 1t shall also be the function of the school gardens program to collect data on the location and types of gardens in public schools as well as to provide agricultural guidance and technical assistance to public schools 2ikewise% it shall coordinate curricula for school gardens and related pro'ects and provide training% support and assistance for gardens established in public schools (he measure provides that the best practices among currently implemented school garden pro'ects shall be identified and recognized as role models in the implementation of 3chool /ardens #rograms 1t also tasks the 4niversity of the #hilippines and other identified state universities and colleges to assist the 3chool /ardens #rogram by providing technical e5pertise% curricula and soil testing for school gardens% among others (he party solon stressed that the approval of the bill will lay down policy directions relating to school gardens as a principle of learning and an instrument of nation building “According to 46 7ood and Agriculture )rganization (7A))% school gardens can help provide healthy school meals and generate income for school funds +ut they are primarily a platform for learning 8 learning how to grow food for a healthy diet% improve the soil% protect the environment% market food for profit% en'oy garden food and% not least% influence others%” "agsaysay added (,9) mvip

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