GBC Ghana Online

Stakeholders push for National School Garden Policy

By Joyce Kantam Kolamong

Stakeholders in education have met to deepen discussions, commitment and calls for a national policy on School Garden concept.

To this end, they are calling on the various political parties to include the concept as a working document as they prepare to come out with their manifestoes.

A Lecturer and Researcher on School Gardens, Agriculture and Consumer Science Education, at the Faculty of Education, UDS, Karim Abdul Rahaman, made the call at a stakeholder dialogue on a national policy on school gardens in Tamale.

The dialogue session was organized by the Regional Advisory Information and Network System, RAINS, under it’s school pedagogy project.

Regional Advisory Information and Network System, RAINS, is a non-governmental organization implementing development intervention in Northern Ghana since its inception in 1942. In July 2017, RAINS and AXIS, Danish NGO commenced the implementation of a project called the School Pedagogy project in the Savelugu Municipality of the Northern Region.

This project aims at improving the quality of education in schools in northern Ghana through the introduction and use of participatory teaching methodologies.

At the centre of its participatory module is the school Garden concept which was part of the education curriculum some years ago. The aim is to integrate the concept in the classroom where teachers will use in their lesson delivery. The concept is being piloted in the Savelugu Municipality in 12 schools.

A Lecturer and Researcher on School Gardens, Agriculture and Consumer Science Education, at the Faculty of Education, UDS, Karim Abdul Rahaman, said the school Garden concept is feasible adding that the government can adopt the concept to build up the school feeding programme in senior high schools. He said UDS will focus it’s debates on the school garden concept.

‘UDS over the years have been organizing debate for political parties and it is about education and so once this is an ongoing project together with RAINS, we will ensure that this time around it will be a centre stage of the debate. So we are calling on all CSOs, stakeholders in education to come together and further dialogue”, He further explained.

The Inclusion, Education and Advocacy Manager at RAINS, Ragadaw Abdul-Wahab, said RAINS recognizes that education is a foundation for peace, tolerance, human rights and sustainable development. She said there have been some improvements in the schools where the school Garden approach is being piloted. She said, “Currently in all the 12 schools we have functioning gardens where teachers send students and pupils to learn the various subjects and the teachers, their capabilities have been built to go as far as using the gardens to teach even Religious and Moral education”.

She said considering the component of using participatory strategy in the school garden approach, it is child centered and therefore adopting it at the National level, will improve the quality of education in the country.

Dean, Faculty of Education, UDS, Professor Ibrahim Gunu, called on stakeholders to facilitate the development of a national framework and the implementation guidelines for school gardens.

The theme for the dialogue was “Cultivating Knowledge, Nurturing Minds: Towards a National School Garden”.

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