Having “Edible Schoolyards” in Malaysia?

Would it be interesting to have hands-on “gardening” training in our schools at all levels? and why should we have it in our school education syllabus? Buurps.com will be sharing information of this area that will answer these questions.

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Source:https://www.facebook.com/SlowFoodInternational

We would love to see our Malaysians school syllabus not missing out this area in their curriculum. Do you want to know why?

But we go into that, let us ask you these questions; is it bad to teach our children on how to grow their own food? Instead of grooming our children to be consumers, why not we groom them to be producers? When there are too many consumers of food, do we have enough people to producing food? Is solely relying on importing food, a solution to our future generation? Is being a food gardener, an actual food producer really a low opportunity career that we should exclude it from our school syllabus? Think again.

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This image was taken from Source: http://www.edenproject.com/

The fact is, gardening is a life skill that we should not neglect in order to drive a sustainable economy. We have to change our mindset that being a food producer is not a low and unprofitable career. If you have read our earlier issue on food crisis, a sustainable living and teaching your child about food, you will probably understand the standpoint of we are coming from.

To start our topic, you have to understand what is gardening.

Gardening is the practice of growing and cultivating plants as part of horticulture. In gardens, ornamental plants are often grown for their flowers, foliage, or overall appearance; useful plants, such as root vegetables, leaf vegetables, fruits, and herbs, are grown for consumption, for use as dyes, or for medicinal or cosmetic use. A gardener is someone who practices gardening, either professionally or as a hobby. Gardening is considered to be a relaxing activity for many people. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/

Why should schools in today’s society be encouraging gardening skills to our children? Watch the video below to understand the current situation of our children’s generation and knowing the benefits of teaching them this skill at all levels.

Source: http://www.youtube.com/TEDxTalks

Well you can say that this video is about the issue of Hawaii and their people, however think again. Some of the issues mentioned about their children generation does ring a bell to our home situation of our children too. If you can see them, then you will understand that these are actually global issues due to modernization that are threatening our future generations.

Here is another video on learning the benefits of encouraging “edible gardening” in schools.

Source: http://www.youtube.com/TheElizaBth

It is pleasant to see the fire of enthusiasm in the children while working in their edible gardens at their school. It is a learning laboratory for them, not just to attain the hard skill but soft skill too as they have to work in groups to hold responsibility in taking care of the garden.

Source: http://www.youtube.com/samanthalyonfilm

School gardening projects are accepted well around the world because people began to see the seriousness of the global food crisis due to the flaws in the current global-reliance food production system.

Many are beginning to adopt self-sustainable food production system at their local community. This trend is picking up now, as many began to see school not just as a place of knowledge, but also as a food garden to supply food to a local community.

Source: http://www.youtube.com/joybaldwin77

Source: http://www.youtube.com/MichaelNickels

Killing two birds with one stone – learning gardening in school is about growing your own food while getting expose with the entrepreneurial education (handling trading of extra produces within a local community), and learning about your environment & resources.

Source: http://www.youtube.com/DaveHewitt

Below is the video of reaping the benefits of training “gardening” skill in schools at a national level.

Source: http://www.youtube.com/TEDxTalks

Getting started in schools may be challenging. This video has some tips for you.

Source: http://www.youtube.com/UMDHGIC

Below is a video of recommendations on how best, a school adopt this idea and knowing what is the 21st century skills interdisciplinary education themes.

http://www.youtube.com/BrianO

For long term maintenance of the schools’ gardens, the support from a local community also plays a role in determining the success rate of these “edible gardening” projects in schools. Proactive efforts are required from both parties.

http://www.youtube.com/CliffEtzel

School should be made to be a fun learning & discovery place for children. They are in school not only to gain knowledge, but to explore their self, their capabilities and appreciating the people & the environment around them. Having syllabus that are “relevant” to the current trends & issues of both locally & globally are as important.

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This image was taken from Source: http://www.riviation.com/

With such exposures about life around them is helpful as they have the knowledge & the understanding of themselves, and how their action will affect the world around them. It is relevant and a holistic approach to the development of their beings, mentally and physically in this 21st century era.

Children-Day-Nov

This image was taken from Source: http://teacher-info.blogspot.com/

To wrap up, there are many benefits of implementing this idea into our education system from individual family units to national level. It is a very huge project. Fund raising within the local communities can assist without having to rely on the government intervention in order to sustain this project; provided we have strong Malaysian core and be aware of the long term benefits of this cause to support the project willingly. Full cooperation from Malaysians from all level of the society are required.

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This image was taken from Source: http://www.happynews.com/

However, back to our earlier questions, “Would it be interesting to have hands-on “gardening” training in our schools at all levels? and why should we have it in our school education syllabus?”

Yes, it would be interesting to have hands-on “gardening” training in all level of schools. As for the second question, the benefits of implementing this idea into our school education syllabus are answered in the videos above.

However, our take is that if we are to implement such idea into our education system, it may take a long time to assimilate the idea into the system as it can be a monumental task.

Why? Firstly, we have to overcome the main barrier that is to change our wrong mindset about agricultural farming, such as it is only meant for rural areas, gardening as career is very low job opportunity & has no career advancement, “there are many mini markets, we got money to buy wat!”, “why work with sweat under hot sun when office job (sitting in the air-condition) is better”, and etc (the list goes on).

Followed by getting approval from parents can be another headache as there are minimal awareness effort done on this matter in Malaysia. Due to the same reason of minimal buzz from the local media on the coverage of the rising global food crisis in our local scene, getting encouragement from the local community may be another issue.

These are what we think if Malaysia is to implement this idea into our education system.

But there is still HOPE if there are more local media coverage on the rising global food crisis and the trend of healthy lifestyle in order to have full support & cooperation from Malaysians. Buurps.com thinks that knowledge is power and for it to happen no matter how long it takes, it is better late than never.

Do share with us your thoughts on this issue. We want to hear from you so leave your comments behind. Thank you in advance.

Please note that viewers discretion is required while reading this article. Thank you.

Kindly note that Buurps.com truly appreciates the passion, generosity and contribution of others to the world of culinary. Therefore we wished to emphasize that some of our article contents are taken from the world wide web with an intention to create awareness only. Then again, kudos to those who had put so much effort to produce these wonderful contents and their willingness to share to the world. Thank you. – Buurps.com -

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8 Responses to “Having “Edible Schoolyards” in Malaysia?”

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Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. » Eden Project | Buurps.com : Spontaneous Food-nalism - A Malaysian Food Blog - September 15, 2013

    [...] below to view relating past articles. – Having edible schoolyards in Malaysia – Adopting sustainable living in all Malaysian [...]

  2. » Agriculture in Malaysia | Buurps.com : Spontaneous Food-nalism - A Malaysian Food Blog - January 19, 2014

    […] Perhaps getting schools to incorporate practical agriculture related syllabuses into the current education system can be a good starting point to create an awareness of this sector. I will not go further as we have covered this area before. […]

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