FEATURE | Connecting to Mother Earth through School Gardens by Damica Mawlong
By migrator | Jul 7, 2019, 16:23 IST
By Damica Marcia Mawlong
SHILLONG | July 07, 2019:
School gardens are a great way to use the schoolyard as a classroom. It is a wonderful way to create a connection between mother earth and the students, who embark on a journey where children learn how to grow crops from its beginning till they harvest and finally (bring it) on their plates. Another benefit of the school gardens is that the students will learn how to grow healthy food and use it for a better, nutritional diet. This can best be done if the produce, i.e., the fruits and vegetables, are contributed to the Midday Meals of the schools.
Since 2013, NESFAS started (began) to (it's) work with (on) this initiative of promoting school gardens in four villages, starting from Laitsohpliah village. NESFAS' initiative of school gardens' are special areas reserved around schools for cultivation of vegetables and fruits. Usually tended by students and instructors, they serve as a good platform for learning and understanding the basic methods of farming, understanding where food comes from and integrating humanities and science subjects to a practical based knowledge system.
"Ilearnt that it is important to preserve our traditional food systems becausethese are the foods that are healthy for us all," Ibanjalis Rani, a student ofClass V from Nongtraw, LP School said.
"As teachers, we are responsible for guiding the students' path. It is important for all of us to possess traditional knowledge, besides modern knowledge," said Shaiphar Dohling, headmaster of Dewlieh UP School. He added that the School Garden activity in his school has helped them in many ways. The students are now actively involved in documenting the local crops of Dewlieh village.