DA wants agriculture subjects in elementary, high school

MANILA, Philippines – Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol this week directed one of his high-ranking officials to start working with the Department of Education (DepEd) on including agriculture subjects in basic education.

During a press briefing on Tuesday, July 25, Piñol was asked about the department's plan to encourage young people to go into agriculture. (READ: PH agriculture: Why is it important?)

"When I was in Ormoc City with the President, before he arrived, I was seated next to Secretary Leonor Briones of DepEd. And this was exactly what I was discussing with her," he said in a mix of English and Filipino.

He added: "We have been proposing for DepEd to include agriculture subjects, simple agriculture, in the curriculum of public schools from elementary to high school."

Piñol said he was able to discuss the matter with Briones, whose department is currently reviewing the curriculum in public schools.

He then emphasized the need to develop Filipino children's interest in agriculture.

"So I am now directing [Undersecretary] Fred Serrano to work on this, because this is under policy and planning. You have to reach out to your counterpart in the DepEd and start working on the proposal to include agriculture subjects in the elementary and high school levels of the Philippine education system," he said in a mix of English and Filipino.

As far as the K to 12 curriculum is concerned, at least senior high school's technical-vocational-livelihood track already has specializations on agri-fishery. 

On Tuesday, Piñol also called on fisheries and agriculture graduates all over the country to be agriculture entrepreneurs. He said these graduates could become very successful agri-entrepeneurs given the knowledge they gained from their courses.

"We can help them, we can actually provide them financing if they want to go into onion farming, garlic farming, and other agricultural activities," he said in a mix of English and Filipino.

He added: "Be agri-entrepreneurs. We will support you financially. You come to us, you organize yourselves, we will help you financially, and we will assist you in the marketing of your products." – Rappler.com

Jee Y. Geronimo

Jee is part of Rappler's Central Desk, handling most of the world, science, and environment stories on the site. She enjoys listening to podcasts and K-pop, watching Asian dramas, and running long distances. She hopes to visit Israel someday to retrace the steps of her Savior.