DEpEd Malaybalay high school focuses on agriculture, fisheries

SAN JOSE, Malaybalay City  – The Department of Education’s San Martin National High School, in the city’s Basakan (rice granary area) district is focusing on offering agricultural and fisheries skills for elective subjects of hundreds of students, mostly children of farmers, Manuelito Melendez, the principal who pioneered the program said.

Melendez told Bukidnon News at an education forum recently that the subjects, along with fisheries and information technology are the three electives offered so far the school under the Technology and Livelihood Education program.

Dr. Florante Corpuz told Bukidnon News via telephone the school was really mandate to be an “agriculture national high school” to respond to the resources and needs in the area.

But one problem that confronted the DepEd schools division in implementing the agriculture curriculum is lack of qualified teachers and vacant positions.

Corpuz said they need a graduate of Agriculture Education who passed the teachers’ board examinations. Melendez said there are many agriculture graduates who have the farm and teaching skills but do not have the academic qualification.

For a teacher to qualify for an item to teach in such special schools, Melendez said, are required to have teacher’s license. He said those who have not passed the teacher’s board may teach but will be paid only as a job order employee.

Even if it was in demand long before, SMNHS was able to offer fisheries only this year, he said, because no one qualified. He said they are glad that a graduate of education majoring in agriculture from a Bohol university became a sole applicant this year.

San Martin is in an agricultural area, which is the original site of the Bukidnon Agricultural School, the forerunner of the Central Mindanao University.

Melendez said there times in the last 10 years that production, mainly, went down in the area. Among the factors considered was the dearth of technical knowhow among farmers.

He said the offering of agricultural and fisheries skills training within the TLE subject will prepare the high school students to farming as a future career or as another skill in order to continue farm productivity in the area.

In Malaybalay City, Bukidnon National High School in downtown Malaybalay City, also offers training in agriculture as an elective of the TLE subject.

Agriculture and information technology electives, offered from first year to fourth year levels, were offered in SMNHS since 2004.

Melendez, who has been assigned to another school in the city in June, said fisheries, was added to the list of the school’s TLE electives when classes opened in June 2011.

He added that the Department of Education has been opening up specializations for high schools to prepare for the senior high school program under its K+12 program. The two-year senior high school program, he said, will be training grounds for students who want to learn on specific expertise even before entering college.

Aside from agriculture, fisheries, and information technology, the areas where DepEd is putting special skills training include garments, food, arts, carpentry, and other areas. (Walter I. Balane)


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