The fight against COVID19 pandemic impacted almost sector in the society. These resulted to the disruption of economic growth, food security, employment, health, travel restrictions and among others.
The spread of COVID-19 has affected learners worldwide that led students and teachers to study and work from home leading to the delivery of online learning platform.
As the students learning progresses amidst the pandemic and to get the education of the country’s back on track, the basic education learning continuity plan (BE-LCP) was carried out.
The BE-LCP is a package of education interventions that will respond to basic education challenges brought about by COVID-19. It engages external and internal stakeholders for input design of learning delivery strategy and operational direction
To further support these modalities, the Department of Agriculture through the Livestock Banner Program in partnership with Baguio City Veterinary and Agriculture Office (CVAO) granted the request of the Manuel L. Quezon Elementary School (MLQES) for poultry raising.
The Beginning
The MLQES started the Gulayan sa Paaralan wherein they produce vegetables from seeds given by DA-CAR and CVAO.
Eventually, the project was dubbed as KADIWA Eskwela named after the program of the Department of Agriculture KADIWA ni ani at kita. Kadiwa is a marketing system which sells major agricultural goods at reasonable prices.
According to Ellen F. Grande, Principal of MLQES, the projects encourage the communities to go into urban agriculture as their source of income especially this pandemic.
She said the layer eggs and vegetable produce were sold at an affordable price to their learners and their family wherein the proceeds were used for the printing of learning modules and other needs of the faculty.
“We need to appreciate farming even we are in the urban areas because its also one way to secure healthy food in our table,” she added.
Rising Above the Challenges
Since face to face interaction is impossible, establishing housing for the poultry is very vital. Nicomedes Tabelin, Teacher III, recommended to utilize one of the unused classroom as temporary housing for the chicken. They set up nets, metal fences and lights to make the housing conducive for raising chicken.
Tabelin said they always maintain the cleanliness in the area and feed the chicken with grower feeds, grasses, and vegetables such as chayote.
Aside from that, the student park in front of the main building was converted into a survival garden area. They set up nursery and converted the landscape into planting vegetables like lettuce and pechay.
They also utilized chicken dung as a fertilizer. They set up up composting area to further support their production this reducing their expenses.
Advocating Urban Agriculture
The KADIWA Eskwela advocates for the importance of Urban Agriculture in the City of Pines during this pandemic. It serves as a model area that planting vegetables and raising poultry can be establish in urban areas.
Tabelin said that farmers are very important in the food system so he encourages the younger generation to learn and have an interest in farming. This is to continuously sustain the food systems in the country.
Ways Forward
The KADIWA Eskwela hopes to continuously prosper its operations to support the basic learning education of the pupils. It will also serve as a role model to other schools to venture in agriculture as a learning modality.
Despite the negative impacts of COVID-19 pandemic, it has also brought a silver lining to the society in uniting all the stakeholders- the government and the public to embrace the new normal and to fight the threats of the pandemic.//