These school children grow their own food

A school in Dakshina Kannada has begun teaching farming compulsorily from classes 5 to 10

While there are concerns about youth drifting away from agriculture, a private Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) school in Dakshina Kannada has begun teaching farming compulsorily to students from classes 5 to 10 from this academic year.

Sharada Vidyanikethana Public School at Talapady, on the outskirts of Mangaluru, has given its own “agricultural science” textbooks to each class. It has recruited a five-member faculty, led by a postgraduate in agriculture for teaching.

“Students of each class have to attend two theory classes and a practical class a week,” M.B. Puranik, president, Sharada Group of Institutions, which manages the school, told The Hindu.

The school took the initiative following a suggestion from one of his friends as many students now lack basic knowledge on farming, he said adding that the school has reserved 3.5 acres for farming, mainly to grow vegetables.

Vivek Tantry, Administrative Officer of the school, said the school through students has now cultivated 18 types of vegetables, which would be used to serve lunch and dinner for students.

“We will take them to nearby paddy fields of farmers this year to experience paddy cultivation,” he said, adding that the school would conduct theory examinations twice and the final theory marks would be mentioned in their marks card. More than 1,000 students study agricultural science in the school in the current academic year.

Mr. Puranik said it would be good if some students took up farming as a profession. But even otherwise, farming education would definitely make them understand the difficulties in agriculture and marketing of produce.

As the school also rears cows, the students would be exposed to basics of dairying though they are not made to work there. The institution serves lunch to about 2,000 students and staff and breakfast and dinner to about 1,000 students and staff. The vegetables grown are used for the same.


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