The gulayan sa paaralan program
By Mary Jane I. Tortoles
OIC – Catasan Elementary School
Bula District, Bula, Camarines Sur
Malnutrition among the public school children is one of the causes of their low level of academic performance in school. It can be well attributed to the poor economic conditions of the family. The Department of Agriculture, in partnership with the Department of Education aims to address, at least to a certain degree, the problems of malnutrition by launching the “Gulayan sa Paaralan Program.” The program seeks to promote the production of vegetables in public elementary and high school through the maintenance of school garden around the school in order to provide a sustainable source of vegetable which they will use in feeding program.
The “Gulayan sa Paaralan Program” is an all-encompassing project because other than addressing malnutrition among school children, it also instills the values of eating healthy food through the supplementary feeding program of the DepEd and the necessity of engaging in agriculture by teaching the students to plant and grow for themselves the vegetables so that they can also replicate it at home for the family’s food sustainability. With these, the students likewise learn the importance of work and/or industry and the need to take care of the environment and other natural resources.
Further, the program may not only be a source of food but of income as well by selling the excess or devote the entire harvest to the market. Proceeds of the sales can be used to finance other food and nutritional undertaking of the school for the benefits of the students.
This program has become an avenue to relive the spirit of “bayanihan” as the government, the school, the parents and students have to work together in implementing the program and eventually achieve the goals and its visions to address the nutritional needs of the students and at the same time maintain harmonious relationship in the community.