Everyone learns differently, and learning styles can vary from person to person. But there’s one type of learning that benefits almost everyone equally, and that’s practical learning. Similarly, students studying Agriculture for Food Security subject in Bajothang Higher Secondary School in Wangdue Phodrang are getting hands-on training on farming through a hydroponic farm installed in the school.
Hydroponic, a method of cultivating plants without using soil was installed last month in Bajothang Higher Secondary School. Today, tomato, garlic, chilli and lettuce are grown in a water-based nutrient-rich solution.
The teaching-learning process has been more interesting and practical since the installation of the farm.
More than 200 students of Agriculture for Food Security subject including the club members of the School Agriculture Programme visit the farm every day. Students not just try their hands-on farming but also acquire smart agriculture and farming techniques.
“We can grow crops within two weeks and in conventional farming, it takes almost a month for a plant to grow. I think this is possible for everyone. Even an old aged people can practice this at home as it does not consume any hard work,” said Sharmila Rai, a student.
“The practical classes of hydroponic farming are helpful. With such knowledge, I think we will be able to make a living by setting up such business in future even if we don’t get a job,” said Thektshok Wangpo, another student.
As per the school management, the hydroponic farm has become one of the attractive learning centres for the students. The Rural Development, a German project supported the installation with a budget of Nu 130,000. Bajothang Higher Secondary school is the first high school in the country to have a hydroponic farm.
“I have just seen that students are excited to see their product coming up in a very short period. They are excited. It was their first time experiencing it. Some of them haven’t seen the hydroponic,” said Kinley Dorji, the Vice Principal.
The Rural Development project office is in the process of consulting with the Education Ministry to replicate such projects in other schools. Besides, students also experience other types of farming such as fishery, mushroom cultivation and poultry.
Owing to the rich agriculture programmes, the school received the Best School Farm Awards from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests in 2019 and 2020.
Changa Dorji, Wangdue Phodrang
Edited by Tshering Zam