Aquaponics Project established at Talomo Central Elementary School
Talomo Central ES is one of the largest schools in Talomo District with an enrolment of 2079 students and 57 teachers. It does not have extensive areas available for agricultural pursuits so decided to establish an intensive aquaculture program in the school grounds with the funding generously supplied by the Maitland Rotary Club.
School Principal Aida Placencia explained that through this strategy, pupils and teachers work on the project together thereby developing skills in communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity which are four skills for 21st century learning. She went on to say that “the project would also be used as a teaching tool in the core subjects such as Technology Livelihood Education, Mathematics and Science. Moreover, learners will not only be growing fish and vegetables in the school but also in their own backyards. Very importantly, the project will also support the School-Based Feeding Program as the vegetables and fish harvested will contribute to the meals provided for children helping to reduce the number of malnourished children in the school.”
The project is a fine example of a partnership established with a number of stakeholder groups. It is sponsored by AFFLIP with the support of Local Government Unit Talomo Barangay, who will help conduct trainings on vegetable production for pupils, teachers and parents. The Supreme Pupil Government will maintain the project and the Talomo Central Elementary School Parents - Teachers Association will handle the landscaping and beautification. Private Construction Companies will provide the required additional construction materials, and the Department of Agriculture and Department of Fisheries will conduct trainings and donate seedlings.
The school has a very well organised group which is implementing the project led by Flor Toledo who is the AFFLIP Health and Nutrition Coordinator in the school. She is supported by Technical and Livelihood teachers Emalyn Mulato and Rosita Lapiz, and Felix Suico. Most of the pupils and teachers in Grades 4 to 6 are involved in the project in some way.
The group explained that “The nature of the learning competencies addressed through the project in Technical and Livelihood Education and Science will include activities for pupils such as:
Conducting a survey to identify how to care for seedlings
Explaining the benefits of using organic pesticides toward sustainable development
Observing health and safety measures in formulating organic fertiliser and organic pesticides
Keeping records of growth/progress of seedlings
Developing and Implementing a plan on fish raising
Measuring and monitoring growth and progress
Planning and implementing the marketing of vegetables and fish grown and raised, which will in turn contribute funds towards the school feeding program
Devising ways for harvesting/capturing fish.”
We all look forward to following the progress of this exciting and innovative new project at Talomo Central Elementary School.