Food for the plate and the soul

Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro - - Opinion - BY RIZ P. SUNIO

Should chil­dren be taught to grow food as part of their school­ing? I un­der­stand that agri­cul­ture and grow­ing food is not re­lated to learn­ing lan­guages, pure sci­ence, or math­e­mat­ics---the main thrust of most schools.

For many par­ents and ed­u­ca­tors, mas­ter­ing these three is the key for kids to suc­ceed in col­lege and in the fu­ture; the win­ning ticket to a great ca­reer and life.

It’s sad, how­ever, that ed­u­ca­tion may have been too ob­sessed on things that make the cut on stan­dard­ized tests and pop­u­lar ranks.

They have for­got­ten that ed­u­ca­tion should not only nour­ish the mind, but also the heart and the soul.

Teach­ing kids to grow their own food is ben­e­fi­cial in pub­lic schools and poorer com­mu­ni­ties for them to be able to grow and pro­duce food. This will al­low them to cut costs in pur­chas­ing food from the mar­ket, as well as to make healthy food af­ford­able, in­stead of merely be­ing sat­is­fied in cheap but in­stant food.

Grow­ing food may not be as prof­itable as teach­ing stu­dents skills to be em­ploy­able, but this is equally ben­e­fi­cial to them in the long run, es­pe­cially that food is an un­de­ni­able need among peo­ple.

But even teach­ing ‘shel­tered’ chil­dren to grow food is also highly needed.

It will teach them re­spon­si­bil­ity not just in tak­ing care of plants as a habit, but to be re­spon­si­ble in many as­pects of their lives.

Fur­ther­more, it will tell the painstak­ing process of grow­ing and pro­duc­ing food, thereby im­press­ing to them that food and other re­sources should not be taken for granted.

With the craze over in­stant food, sweets, buf­fets, and un­lim­ited and bot­tom­less, teach­ing them how long it re­ally takes un­til a plant bears fruit will teach them the value of time and how scarce re­sources re­ally are.

In the light of the de­cline of the ap­pre­ci­a­tion of agri­cul­ture in this coun­try that chases af­ter in­dus­tri­al­iza­tion, mak­ing kids re­al­ize the im­por­tance of agri­cul­ture is now a dire need.

Lastly, I would like to re­it­er­ate the fa­mous proverb that says a lot about ed­u­cat­ing chil­dren on the im­por­tance of food se­cu­rity: “Give man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach man to fish, and he eats for life.”

riz­sunio@gmail.com

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