ADEQUATE NUTRITION AND EDUCATION are key to the development of children and their future livelihoods. The reality facing millions of children, however, methods of organizing children’s learning that these essentials are far from being met. A countrys future hinges on its youth.
Yet children who go to school hungry cannot learn well. PART 11: HOW DO WE GET GOING? How garden work is organized will depend on your aims, the school traditions, the age of the children, how many teachers and classes are involved, how much time you can set aside for garden work and your own preferences. Most schools with gardens reckon on each class putting in one to two hours a week, with pupils taking on occasional extra responsibilities for an extra half hour to an hour a week on a voluntary basis or in rotation. However it is done, make organizing work an opportunity for involving pupils, to develop their sense of responsibility, independence and capacity for collaboration and organization. HOW DO WE ORGANIZE THE WORK? Bear in mind that the school’s role is to protect, respect and facilitate children’s right to education.
Children are in the garden to learn, not to provide cheap labour, and garden work must be seen as a learning experience. There are many ways of distributing garden work through the school, but they should be evaluated in this light. Classes rotate through different plots or through different tasks e. Garden records are kept for the project as a whole, with classes contributing according to their tasks.
It works best if there is a strong sense of communal responsibility. Each class has its own garden Each class works separately from the others, with some coordination to avoid overlap. The class can be divided into teams or groups which can work on their own beds and also contribute to communal tasks. A garden diary is kept for the whole class. This arrangement can foster class pride.
Separate class gardens means children can have easier or more difficult projects according to age. For example, a junior class can do simple flower pots while a senior class grow, bottle and sell fruit. This makes it possible to develop an increasingly complex garden curriculum through the school grades. Small groups of students have their own plots. Each group keeps its own records – a file, diary, etc. Communal garden tasks are shared between the groups. It encourages emulation – most farmers learn from seeing what their neighbours do!