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(Four pillars ang topic, cut yung transcript so tatlo lang to)

“…We are not a Catholic school, but an inclusive institution where our teachings on how to pray, meditate, or be
connected depend on the faith of the students. Essentially, our way on how we impart our wisdom on spiritual formation
is aimed towards connectedness.”

Economic Pilar. (Alternansiya?) A child learns in different settings: in the four corners of the school; in his community –– and
for that, we organize study tours, practicum, and immersion programs; in their homes –– that’s why we conduct family visits
to assess how they are able to apply our teachings in their day-to-day activities and get to know more of their situation in
life in order for us to incorporate these factors into a more effective way of teaching in school.

Responsible Association. A community effort where different stakeholders of different expertise and capabilities or a multi-
sectoral composition of players (e.g. academe, cooperatives, parents, NGOs, etc.) must be involved in building
educational institutions for a more holistic result.

Rural Development. Teachings inculcated to a child creates a ripple effect starting from his family, to their neighbors, and
to the community. In one family visit we had, this particular home had been observing waste segregation because their
child had told them about this –– a lesson he learned from school. The kids are considered effective agents of change,
indeed.

In our integral value formation, the pictures show:


(1) Organic gardens where even old shoes are used as pots for planting;
(2) Waste segregation (MFR?) –– DENR Oriental Mindoro has commended us for being the only institution with an
effective MRF;
(3) Permaculture; and
(4) Meditation program because we believe in the “three acts of goodness: good acts, good thoughts, and good
deeds” and that kindness from within attracts other good things

Tools on Family Farm School


Personalized Group Chat. We have a group chat, even before the advent of what we now know as chat, as a system on
how to deal with children and the challenges they face

Family Enterprise Project. Agroprenuership(?) is one, where children are taught integrated enterprise that is ecological

“Araling Dalaw”. Where theories are applied in actual scenarios; also, farmers and entrepreneurs are invited to share their
experiences as resource speakers

“Paksa”. Children are tasked to make some sort of a research, from series of questions that are generated by themselves
in class discussions to the conduct interviews/surveys from the members of their communities and finally, to synthesize the
all the data and information that they have gathered. For transferees, this is only introduced to them after months of being
integrated in the farm school because of its peculiarity from the type of curriculum offered in a traditional school.

Family Visits. The time management skill of a child, for example, in order that the same be more effective, is monitored not
only by the teachers during the visits, but also his/her parents.

There are impact studies conducted about family farm schools where they said that children out of this same curriculum
has had a more holistic development, is more responsible which is evident in their observance of waste segregation, and
even in maintaining a healthier lifestyle. These little things, if adopted and observed by every family can bring out a big
difference, eventually.

The speaker shared they have been encountering problems in maintaining their school but still strives the hardest to be
sustainable. She shared that they are continuously growing, from 11 students in 2001, now they have a total of 258 enrollees.

She added that farm schools have patterned their curriculum from a parish in France where accordingly, it started when
parents who owned farms of this community have clamored for a more efficient way of educating their children that
eventually led to one parish priest being its first educator and thereafter the creation of a farm school.

A participant who is a volunteer of a family farm school in their area has commented that they reach out to different
networks like government agencies (e.g. TESDA), non-governmental agencies to contribute in any way to their school to
augment their needs. She shared that in their province, unfortunately less opportunities are given to their students, given
that mostly are only equipped with agricultural backgrounds. Because of this, their vision aims that their graduates become
more holistic –– who are better prepared and well-abled when they decide to pursue other-related careers.

With that, the speaker has replied that although a networking scheme in reaching out to other sectors of the society in
answering problems such as that mentioned by the participant is valuable, it however can sometimes be costly. And
added that because they are currently facing some financial constraints, they cannot avail of the said scheme. Today,
what they ask of from their students or the families that are under their program is only a meager amount, which sometimes
are not even paid and therefore they cannot financially shell out more than what sustains their farm school.

The speaker added that, despite existing laws which support farm schools, it is still sadly not enough because of the deletion
of certain provisions that extends funding not only to public farm schools, but also to private schools. Their farm school,
being private, does not therefore benefit from the help and backing that these laws provide and brings them back to their
ante status quo before the introduction of these same laws.

The speaker said that it is futility and ineffectiveness of programs which ends every farm school’s operations, and not its
lack of funds. Meaning, even if a school no longer generates profit but continues to contribute something to the society
in any way, it will continue to exist.

Another participant said that in their farm school, they also have a Family Enterprise Project (FEP) and shared her project
of organic farming which she learned from school and has applied in their home where her family works hand and hand
to maintain it. She further added that this same project will later on be presented by her together with her parents before
a panel in school for a defense.

A different participant also shared that in his Grade 9 to Grade 10 years, they were required to come up with a FEP and
from his experience of managing their livelihood, he has learned of what are their expenses and sales and has deeper
understanding of every cash ins and outs. He added that with this project, especially during the evaluation period, he has
gained more and more confidence in being able talk about his learnings and appreciation on the same. He also
addressed the most commonly thrown stereotype of farm schools and stressed the importance of farmers in the society –
– that we get what we prepare in our dining tables from them. Finally, he said that family farm schools offer the most unique
curriculum not only in the Philippines, but around the world for having several add-ons to a more traditional one.

One participant said that their farm school in Ilocos Sur, particularly in Bacaan Training School, is accredited by TESDA.
With that, they can apply from the same agency to conduct trainings on both theories and applications which are for
free. As an example, she shared that in one of their sessions, farmers have shared their knowledge on organic farming and
fertilizers.

A participant asked how big or small is the faculty of a farm school; to which the speaker answered that they observe a
1:40 ratio of teachers and students respectively.

To answer another question, the speaker said that a family farm school also observes the same number of school days in
a week which is of five (5) days from Monday to Friday. However, she said that what differentiates it from a classic format
is that, a class is divided into groups from which each group is assigned with home periods where in that period, these
students stay at home for monitoring purpose of their time management skills.

The speaker also added that their school’s curriculum can still be considered as academic where subjects like math and
sciences are taught. It is in their life education subject that topics like farming, meditation and output-making through
recyclables are injected. The projects chosen by students are liken to thesis(?) of students in normal schools.

A participant asked if the teachers in a family farm school encourage their students to pursue agricultural-related careers.
The speaker answered that their support towards their students depend on their interests. So, for a student who values what
he has learned in school and wants to use it as a source of livelihood, his teachers will guide him through this chosen path;
whilst, one who has shown promising potential and wishes to enter college to pursue a different path but has no means to
finance his schooling can ask aide from his teachers to look for people or other entities that extend scholarship grants.

Another participant asked how teachers are able to assure that reports submitted to them by their students in the
aforementioned home periods where they stay in the comforts of their home without teachers’ supervision is true and
actual. The speaker answered that it would depend on the aspect evaluated: if it involves the life education aspect,
teachers conduct family visits or require proofs that would support their claimed accomplishments, while if it is in an
academic aspect, it will be reflective of the student’s performance in school through time.

The speaker shared that family visits are planned methodically and done extensively where they group homes according
to the distances of the houses from the school and assign teachers to oversee these homes. This is accordingly done to
ensure that each household is given enough if not the same attention and monitoring. She added that problems not
addressed during these visits are discussed in their chats, still according to the clusters of homes and teachers designated
to the same.
A participant shared that their school’s curriculum focuses more in theories because their primary goal is equipping their
students who wish to take board examinations for agriculturists with enough knowledge and preparedness.

There was a short exchange of commendations among the members before the speaker concluded her talk.