Sowing a love for agriculture

AJ Vinayak Mangaluru | Updated on June 27, 2018 Published on June 27, 2018

Students of Sharada Vidyanikethana Public School in Mangaluru taluk engaging in farming   -  H_S_Manjunath

Mangaluru-based CBSE school makes farm science a part of curriculum

Theory and practical classes and periodic evaluation of students on farming are now part of the curriculum of a school in Mangaluru taluk.

Sharada Vidyanikethana Public School, which is affiliated to the CBSE, has introduced agricultural science as a compulsory subject for students from the 5th to the 10th standard.

The school, in association with the Ramanagar-based Nethra Crop Sciences, has even prepared separate agri science curriculum for each class.

Theory and practice

MB Puranik, president of the Sharada Group of Institutions, Mangaluru, told BusinessLine that agricultural science as a compulsory subject has been introduced in the school under the group at the Talapady campus, on the outskirts of Mangaluru city, from this academic year. Students have one practical and two theory classes on agricultural science every week.

The teacher, an MSc (Agri), is in charge of implementing the curriculum. He is assisted by four diploma-holders.

That hands-on feeling

Asked why agricultural science was introduced as a compulsory subject, Puranik said many children these days, especially in urban areas, don’t know how a crop is grown. This subject will give them hands-on experience, he said.

The school went ahead with the soil testing of the area to take up cultivation of various vegetable crops. As of now, students have taken up the cultivation of around 18 vegetables on an area of 3.5 acres. Plans are afoot to take up paddy cultivation on the unused paddy fields in the vicinity of the school campus, he said.

Though the vegetables and horticultural produce will be used up on the campus, plans are also in place to select a team of students to market the farm produce in the vicinity. In this connection, an outlet near the campus will sell the produce once or twice a week he said.

Vivek Tantry, Administrative Officer of Sharada Vidyanikethana Public School, said the students would be evaluated on their agri science knowledge at the end of the first and second half of the academic year.

Water management

The campus houses around 2,000 students and teachers. Of them, more than 1,000 are located in residential facilities on campus.

He said that adequate steps have been taken for effective water management. A 1-MLD (one million litres a day) water treatment plant helps by recycling used water. The water thus obtained will be used on the crops through drip irrigation, he said.

The campus has also been using rainwater harvested from the rooves of all the buildings, including the hostel blocks, to recharge four borewells for the last four years. This has helped raise the level of the water table in the locality, he added.

Published on June 27, 2018
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