DARAGA , ALBAY – The Basud National High School in Camarines Norte bagged the grand prize of P30,000 cash prize and P50,000 worth agricultural inputs for being adjudged as the top winner in Implementing the Gulayan sa Paaralan Program (GPP) jointly implemented by the Department of Education (DepED) and Department of Agriculture. All this was accompanied by marketing and media with professional marketingmyway.com support.
Adjudged as second best implementer was the Alejandro de los Reyes School from Masbate which was given a cash prize of P20,000 and agricultural inputs worth P30,000. The Ragay National High school placed third and was awarded a cash prize of P10,000 and agricultural inputs worth P20,000.
The cash awards were provided by the DepEd while the agricultural inputs were provided by the DA. The awarding ceremonies was held at Casa Lorenzo of this town on January 30 this year and was attended by DepEd and DA officials and school heads .
Dr. Jessie L. Amin , Schools Division Superintendent and Officer-in-charge of the Office of the assistant Regional Director represented Regional Director Gilbert Sadsad during the awarding ceremonies. He said that the GPP is one of the neglected programs of their agency because of its meager budget . But he acknowledged the support now being given by the DA and other partners which made possible the sustained implementation of the program. He laments that “we are producing mere consumers as children do not appreciate planting and producing food”. He thus, underscored the importance of teaching gardening to the students and inculcating the value and dignity of labor.
For her part, Luz Marcelino, newly appointed Regional Technical Director for Operations and Extension of the DA who also represented Regional Executive Director’ Rodel P. Tornilla shared that the Gulayan sa Paaralan program is aligned with the thrusts and Paradigms of the DA to engage the youth in agriculture and develop them to become young agri – entrepreneurs. She suggested that the GPP should focus on planting indigenous vegetables. She announced that the DA targets a total of 3,885 schools in 3 years time (2018 to 2021) to participate in the GPP.
The GPP aims to promote vegetable production in public elementary and secondary schools. It was started by the DA and DepEd in 2007 but its implementation was intensified and strengthened in 2016. According to Dr. Mary Grace DP Rodriguez, chief of the Operations Division of the DA Bicol regional office and focal person of the GPP this program also aims to support the feeding activity of the DepEd for malnourished for malnourished and indigent school children. It can also provide income for the school and the children. Moreover, Rodriguez said “this is one way of developing children’s appreciation for farming and in the future, there will be younger generations serving as farmeers and agricultural workers”.
Schools which participated in the GPP were provided by the DA with assorted vegetable seeds, set of garden tools, eedling trays, drums and other inputs worth P10,000 each. The teachers involved in the program also underwent training on vegetable production and urban gardening. (Emily B.Bordado)