/ 3 December 2020

TO PROVIDE holistic education to learners, Education Secretary Leonor Briones sought the integration of masteral and doctorate level researches on Agriculture to the basic education curriculum so that students could learn the importance and benefits of agriculture while they are still young.

“Masteral and PhD level researches should be translated into the curriculum and integrated into the curriculum for basic education so that we start off our learners early in their lives on being appreciative of the benefits of agriculture, of protecting our environment, and caring not only for the present but also for the future generations,” Briones said during the recent  celebration of the 54th anniversary of the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research Agriculture (SEARCA).

Established in 1996, SEARCA’s main mandate is to build capacities in agricultural and rural development in Southeast Asia.

Briones represents the Philippines in the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMO), of which SEARCA is the oldest regional center.

“Insofar as SEAMEO SEARCA is concerned, I have a very special interest… and I have given advice on how the products, outputs of research can be used for our curriculum requirements in the Department of Education at the basic education level,” the Education chief said.

“As a region that is mainly agricultural and dependent on natural resources, we have benefited from the programs and researches that have been produced by SEARCA,” she added.

The Education department has worked closely with SEARCA and the University of the Philippines- Los Baños on its School Plus Home Gardens project.

“SEARCA’s mission to help the agricultural communities improve their livelihoods is in line with the DepEd mission to improve the Filipino learners’ quality of life through holistic education,” Briones said.

“We are particularly interested in capacitating even more our farmer-teachers, our farmer-scientists, and teachers who start off our learners at the very basic levels of education on the joys and excitement of feeding our country and keeping it beautiful and also preserving the environment which they should learn at a very early stage,” she added.

“In a world that is advancing towards technological innovations and skills development… we need to be reminded of inclusive and sustainable development to fully accomplish our development goals. So we are pushing for inclusive and  equitable for all Filipino learners. We acknowledge the significant impact of having an educated and skilled population for the nation to progress,” Briones said.

Meanwhile, SEARCA Director Glenn Gregorio said “from 2020 to 2025, SEARCA’s programs are geared towards accelerating transformation through agricultural innovation to elevate the quality of life of agricultural families through sustainable livelihoods and access to modern networks and innovative markets.”