November 19, Thimphu: In an award ceremony, the Director General for Department of School Education, Mr. Karma Yeshey congratulated 14 Thimphu Thomde Schools for initiating the pot garden and strengthening the herbal garden concept as a part of the School Agriculture Programme (SAP).
The Director General said that pot gardening is one of the concepts that is encouraging in schools where they do not have sufficient garden area. In such situation, students still can practice the gardening and instill the knowledge and skills of gardening that is very much part of wholesome education policy. He also acknowledged the participating schools for imparting the knowledge of herbal gardening to students that used to be the knowledge only to the National Institute of Traditional Medicine in the past. Although Bhutan was known by “Lhodzong Menzong”, many people do not know many herbal and medicinal plants that are around us.
The Director General also informed the teachers and Principals gathered about the importance of SAP for educational purpose, paving the towards self-employment and supplementing food production in feeding schools, once WFP feeding supports are withdrawn by 2018. ‘The tremendous progress of SAP, that are seen today are due to continued financial and technical supports received from the Council for Renewable Natural Resources Research of Bhutan’, he said.
This year, the Thimphu Thomde Herbal gardening competition was bagged by Chamzomtog MSS, while Zilukha bagged the Pot gardening competition. All participating schools were also awarded participation certificates and SAP medals. A memento along with a cash prize of Nu. 10, 000/- was also awarded to Khasadrapchu MSS, Thimphu as a special award for outstanding SAP for the last three years and returning the Rolling Trophy to SAP. Tendruk HSS, Samtse was also awarded the special memento and certificate for outstanding achievement of SAP.
Pot gardening concept was initiated by SAP to commemorate the 60th Birth Anniversary of 4th Drugyel Zhepa. Herbal gardening programme was first initiated in 2012 with partnership of ICIMOD, Nepal. Both programmes are expected to continue as a regular programme among the schools of Thimphu Thomde.
The awarding ceremony was attended by officials from Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, Principals and focal SAP teachers of Thimphu Schools.
Compiled and Photo by: Choidup Zangpo, ICS
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